New York

15 April 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at ceremony for handover of paintings by Chinese Artist Wang Linxu

With every passing day, it seems, the United Nations Headquarters complex takes another step forward in its refurbishment and rejuvenation.

Last month I had the pleasure of inaugurating the newly imagined Security Council consultations chamber.

On the first day of this month, the conference building re-opened, its walls and halls freshly aglow.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate the restoration of the full Security Council chamber.

With today’s event, the United Nations welcomes two wonderful additions to its extraordinary collection of art.

I thank the Government and people of China for this contribution.  I thank the artist, Mr. Wang Linxu, for creating these beautiful works.

Until the renovation of the General Assembly building is completed, we will see only facsimiles of the paintings.

But even now, we can grasp their power.

Their titles seem to take their inspiration from UN themes:

One is called “Home of Us All”.  That makes me think of our work for a more sustainable future on our one and only planet.

The other is entitled “The Interactive World”.  That suggests our efforts to make the most of global interconnectedness.

Even the style of painting -- transcendental imagery – has a message for the world.

So many of today’s challenges transcend borders.

People and nations need to transcend narrow interests for the common good.

What we cannot see here today is the scale of the original paintings.

These are large works -- monumental.  One is 20 feet wide.

These are big contributions from a country with a big presence at the United Nations -- and with a big role to play in securing a future of peace and prosperity for the human family.

I thank China for this generous expression of support for the United Nations and for the Capital Master Plan. I know we all look forward to the unveiling next year, and welcoming these beautiful examples of Chinese culture to their new home.

Thank you.