The United Nations in Vienna and Calle Libre join forces to create a mural at the Vienna International Centre

In a landmark art project for Vienna, a giant mural is to be painted on one of the towers of the United Nations building. The importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and shaping our common future to be the focus of the street artwork by Australian artist Fintan Magee.

VIENNA, 4 June 2024 - The biggest mural in Vienna is soon to be painted on the wall of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) in cooperation with the Calle Libre Street Art Festival, the UN family in Vienna and other partners. The message of the gigantic artwork is in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Summit of the Future.

The street art project is backed by the heads of the main Vienna-based UN organizations, the UN Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as well as the City of Vienna, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour and Economy.

A renowned street artist, Fintan Magee from Australia, will transform the 50 metres high and 20 metres wide tower of the VIC into a work of art. Because of its size and location, this landmark project will be seen by tens of thousands of people every day. The tower, which is almost 1,000 square metres in size, is close to the main entrance of the VIC.

 

 

The painting work will start on Monday 10th June and will take approximately three weeks to complete, depending on the weather. A crane supplied pro-bono by Austrian company and Global Compact Network Austria member, Palfinger will be used to transport the artist and his assistant to the top of the tower.

The mural will be a symbol for the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and in particular goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. The design by Fintan Magee was the clear favourite selected by a panel.

The Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna, Ghada Waly, said: “We hope this artwork will be a source of inspiration for promoting sustainability, understanding and peace around the world. As we mark the 45th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre this year, we must seize this opportunity to re-invest in multilateralism and build momentum for the UN’s Summit of the Future taking place in September in New York.”

The artist, Fintan Magee, said that the work is a reminder that peace is fragile: “Lasting stability should never be taken for granted and will always require ongoing diplomacy and human intervention. Peace is always hard work.”

Director of the Calle Libre Street Art Festival and Artistic Director of the project Jakob Kattner said: “In today’s world, characterized by ongoing conflicts, refugees and migration, it is more important than ever to raise awareness of the need for a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mural painting is supported by local entities and institutions and the Global Compact Network Austria with additional support from the 22nd municipal district, Murexin and the Australian embassy in Vienna.

The artwork will be made accessible for people with disabilities through two tactile information boards, courtesy of Zero Project and other partners.

There will be a ceremonial inauguration on Friday 28 June with representatives of the host country, City of Vienna, 22nd municipal district, the United Nations and the Calle Libre Street Art Festival as well as the artist himself. 

Updates of the painting will be posted on social media.

The public are encouraged to take photos and videos of the painting and share them on social media using the hashtags #UNOCityStreetArt #UNVienna and #callelibre.