August 7 - 13, 2016: Issue 275


East wall of the General Assembly Hall


By George Repin

Most people are familiar with the tall United Nations Headquarters beside the East River in New York City, USA and have seen photographs of the building with Manhattan in the background.  It is a complex designed by the Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and has been the home of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. Another image, popular with the media, is the array of flags of member nations displayed in front but few people venture into the building to see inside.

In the 1950s one of my Australian journalist friends was working in the section of the United Nations Secretariat with the responsibility of preparing biographical material on delegates attending meetings in the building.

In 1958, while in New York on business, I was fortunate enough, through her, to acquire a set of 35mm colour transparencies of many aspects of the building’s interior –such as meeting rooms and decorative features.

Since the advent of the internet large numbers of images of the building and its many meeting chambers can be accessed by Googling Headquarers of the United Nations. However, I have chosen images of a few of the decorative features for this article in the hope that they may be of interest  to some readers.  As might be expected after fifty-eight years some of the transparencies have flaws and all required manipulation, as far as possible, to correct changes in the colours – with limited success in some cases. 

This is a good time to focus on the United Nations as there is international interest in who will replace the retiring Secretary-General at the end of this year. There is a large field of nominated candidates including Helen Clark, the outstanding Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008) who is currently the Administrator of UN Development programmes.  Although not yet formally nominated, at the time of writing, it is understood that Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2012) is seeking the support of the Australian Government for his nomination.

These pictures show some features of the interior of the building in 1958.

Krohg Mural in the Security Council Chamber

Curtain in the Economic and Social Council Chamber

Central panel of the Mural by Zanetti

Belgian tapestry

Sculpture by Henrik Starche in the Trusteeship Council Chamber

Bell of Peace - the gift of the Japanese Association for United Nations

Equestrienne Statue of Peace

The Children's Fountain

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre  Around Angkor - 1963  Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II  The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley 

Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.