UN in Vienna to Get Monumental Mural to Promote Sustainable Development

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: June 5, 2024; 23:14 ♦ (Vindobona)

An impressive art project will enrich the skyline of Vienna when a giant mural is created on one of the towers of the Vienna International Center (VIC). In collaboration with the Calle Libre Street Art Festival and the UN family in Vienna, the artwork aims to highlight the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and shaping our common future.

Soon one of the white towers of the United Nations in Vienna will be transformed with an impressive work of art. / Picture: © Vindobona.org

This ground-breaking art project is supported by the top representatives of key Vienna-based UN agencies, including the UN Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as well as the City of Vienna, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs.

Renowned Australian street artist Fintan Magee will transform the 50-meter-high and 20-meter wide façade of the VIC Tower into a work of art. Due to its size and location, this landmark will be seen by tens of thousands of people every day. The tower, which covers almost 1,000 square meters, is located near the main entrance of the VIC.

Painting work will begin on Monday, June 10, and will take around three weeks, depending on the weather. A crane provided pro bono by the Austrian company Palfinger, a member of the Global Compact Network Austria, will transport the artist and his assistant to the top of the tower.

The mural will be a symbol of the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 16, which includes peace, justice, and strong institutions. Fintan Magee's design was the clear favorite of a jury.

Ghada Waly, Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna, said: “We hope that this artwork will be a source of inspiration for promoting sustainability, understanding, and peace worldwide. As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vienna International Center this year, we must use this opportunity to reinvest in multilateralism and build momentum for the UN Summit of the Future taking place in New York in September."

Artist Fintan Magee said the work is a reminder that peace is fragile: “Lasting stability should never be taken for granted and always requires ongoing diplomacy and human intervention. Peace is always hard work." Jakob Kattner, director of the Calle Libre Street Art Festival and artistic director of the project, emphasized: “In today's world of ongoing conflict, refugees, and migration, it is more important than ever to raise awareness of the need for a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mural is supported by local organizations and institutions as well as the Global Compact Network Austria, with additional support from the 22nd Municipal District, Murexin, and the Australian Embassy in Vienna. The artwork will also be made accessible to people with disabilities through two tactile information panels provided by Zero Project and other partners.

The official inauguration will take place on Friday, June 28, with representatives of the host country, the City of Vienna, the 22nd Municipal District, the United Nations, and the Calle Libre Street Art Festival, as well as the artist himself.

Updates on the painting will be posted regularly on social media. The public is also encouraged to take photos and videos of the painting and share them on social media using the hashtags #UNOCityStreetArt, #UNVienna, and #callelibre, according to the United Nations in Vienna.

UNIS Vienna