The United Nations headquarters in New York City is quite an interesting place. It features interesting art, mostly with liberal themes, but here and there you find a conservative piece.
Here are the seven zaniest photos from the UN headquarters. Enjoy!
1. The UN Has Its Own Personal Death Star!
Why Italy decided to give the United Nations a useless hunk of metal that looks vaguely like the half-constructed death star in Star Wars Episode Six: Return of the Jedi, I have no idea. It looks really cool, although I have no idea what it means or was ever supposed to symbolize. Gears and odd mechanics show from the inside, giving it a vaguely industrial look, but overall it’s just confusing.
Next Page: A symbol of peace, or of weakness and surrender?
2. The Knotted Gun
Oh, Luxembourg. Did you really think twisting your weapon into a knot would bring peace? The only way the UN actually promotes peace is by allowing angry world leaders to vent their frustrations in a global bully pulpit. This may have prevented a few small-scale wars, but it won’t stop radical Islamic terrorism, Putin’s aggression from Russia, or North Korea’s nuclear development.
Next Page: Nancy Reagan’s gift to the UN.
3. The Golden Rule by Norman Rockwell
This mosaic by Norman Rockwell was Nancy Reagan’s gift to the United Nations. It’s pretty art, but it carries an important message. The golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is a universal precept of morality. Men and women across the world, in all cultures, share this basic standard of conscience.
Quite a few liberals argue that this isn’t the case, pointing to moral relativism — and the different ways different cultures apply this fundamental rule of justice. The difference in practice does not imply a variation in basic morality, however. While psychopaths are said to be born without a conscience, all men and women share this fundamental first principle of morality, even though they express it and act upon it in different ways.
Next Page: Your UN dollars at work.
4. International Government Waste
When I snapped this photo, the United Nations was closing. Had I taken the picture a few minutes earlier, it would have featured the full-time elevator operator who uses that little table as a place to put his phone or other personal effects, or to sit on. Talk about a cushy job — albeit a very boring one.
Next Page: Remember when the Russians beat us into space? The UN does.
5. Here’s the UN’s Personal Sputnik Replica
This is a replica of Sputnik, the device Russia launched into space. It was the first thing any human sent beyond the atmosphere, but few today remember this coup for communism. A few years later, the United States set the first man on the surface of the moon, a full victory for free markets over central planning. But hey, the UN remembers Sputnik, because why not?
Next Page: A pro-family mural at the center of the meeting place of the UN’s highest body?
6. The UN Security Council Mural Puts the Family at the Center
This mural, painted in the 1950s by Norwegian artist Per Krohg, features a phoenix rising from the ashes, a symbol of the world being rebuilt after World War II. Above the dark colors at the bottom, images portray the rising of humanity, centered in the fundamental social unit, the family.
Don’t get your hopes up too much, though. At the apex of the mural stand the founders of the United Nations, so the liberals get a word in edgewise.
Next Page: Modern art, but with Christian overtones?
7. Chernobyl Tapestry
This huge tapestry, a 1991 gift from Belarus known as “Chernobyl” and woven by Alexandre Kishchenko, depicts the well-known disaster at a Soviet nuclear power plant (which was poorly constructed, unlike most U.S. nuclear plants) in semi-religious terms. The tapestry features a man with the wings of technology emanating from snakes (a symbol of sin and the Fall) in a world of stark beauty.
The left part of the tapestry represents Belarus’ past, the center focuses on the nuclear disaster, and the right expresses hope for the future. The Chernobyl plant is located in Ukraine, just south of the border with Belarus, but the effects of the disaster were felt beyond Ukraine’s borders. That is why Belarus gave the tapestry — this disaster impacted that country as well.