The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) recently unveiled a special gift from the Nobel Peace Center in collaboration with the Norwegian company Hydro, to mark the 50-year industrial collaboration between Qatar and Norway being celebrated this year.

The gift is a sculptured ‘Peace Bench’, an internationally recognised symbol of conversation, diplomacy and dialogue, and will be placed within the Baraha area of NMoQ. The unique design will is 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. 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.

NMoQ was selected by the Nobel Peace Center on the basis of its high-visibility.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said that art and culture are vital tools for bringing people together and for creating spaces for innovation and expression. She said that 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.

According to Nobel Peace Center Executive Director Liv Tørres, 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.’

The 6.5-metre long bench is made from 100% recyclable aluminium supplied by Hydro. The bench is designed by Norwegian architect and design group Snøhetta and manufactured by Vestre.