Posted on December 11, 2019

The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) will unveil a special gift from the Nobel Peace Center in collaboration with the Norwegian company Hydro this Saturday, December 14th to mark the 50-year industrial collaboration between Qatar and Norway that is being celebrated this year.

The gift is a sculptured “Peace Bench”, which is an internationally recognised symbol of conversation, diplomacy and dialogue, will be situated within the Baraha at NMoQ. The unique design will be in the shape of a partial circle that meets the ground at its lowest point, embodying an invitation to conversation. 

The first bench was placed outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City earlier this year and NMOQ will receive the second bench. The bench has been commissioned by the Nobel Peace Center and is titled “The Best Weapon” in reference to a famous quote by Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela: "The best weapon is to sit down and talk". The National Museum of Qatar was selected under the basis of being a high-visibility area by the Nobel Peace Center, shedding light on the museum’s aim of bringing communities together to experience Qatar’s past, present and future.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said, “Art and culture are vital tools for bringing people together and creating spaces for innovation and expression, and this installation is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the importance of conversation, diplomacy and dialogue in society, whoever we are or wherever we come from. The theme of diplomacy and dialogue is central to our final gallery, Qatar Today, which will be opening this month. The Peace Bench embodies this responsibility we all have, and NMoQ is proud to be recognized by the Nobel Peace Center with this generous and inspirational gift, which can now be enjoyed by all visitors to the museum”.

“The bench is a symbol of diplomacy and dialogue, which is much needed in today’s international climate. The idea of the bench is to encourage people to sit down and talk – not only to their friends, but also to strangers and adversaries. Placing it at the National Museum of Qatar will support this idea and message in a wonderful way,” said Liv Tørres, Executive Director at the Nobel Peace Center.

The 6.5-meter long bench is made from 100% recyclable aluminium supplied by Hydro, which is a part-owner of the Qatar based aluminum company Qatalum. Hydro started its industrial adventure in Qatar in 1969, partnering with Qatar Petroleum to establish Qafco and later Qatar Vinyl Company before Qatalum started production in 2010.

The bench is designed by the Norwegian architect and design group Snøhetta and manufactured by Vestre.

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