For information only – not an official document

28 June 2024

Largest street art in the city inaugurated at the United Nations in Vienna

Giant wall mural on Sustainable Development Goals now on display at the Vienna International Centre

VIENNA, 28 June (UN Information Service) – The biggest street art in Vienna has been inaugurated today at a special ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in the city, with representatives of Host Country, City of Vienna, 22nd municipal district, the United Nations and the Calle Libre Street Art Festival as well as the artist himself, Fintan Magee. A tactile information board courtesy of Zero Project and partners was also unveiled to make the artwork accessible for people with disabilities.

It took nearly three weeks for the renowned Australian artist to transform one of the towers of the UN building into the work of art, that covers almost 1,000 square metres. He was assisted by Sophi Odling from Australia and later Axel Schindler from Austria.

Speaking at the inauguration, Magee said when he created the artwork, he wanted to make a simple message of peace: “So I just painted this simple motif of the woman with the dove. I wanted to paint the woman behind glass and for me this is like an allegory for fragility or the difficult road that we have keeping peace and maintaining peace, I wanted it to be a hopeful message of peace but also a reminder that there is always work to be done in that regard and that is the work done in this building, so that’s the idea behind the work.”

The mural painting, “Woman with Dove - Shaping Our Common Future”, is a symbol for the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. The street art project is also part of the events to mark the 45th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre, which opened in 1979.

The Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Dennis Thatchaichawalit said of the artwork at today’s event: “It speaks to our collective yearning for peace and justice, and to the hope that the United Nations still embodies. And it alludes to the role of women at the heart of our global aspirations for a better future. It is also a stand for the Sustainable Development Goals, and an optimistic prelude to the Summit of the Future in September.”

The gigantic street art aims to highlight the work of the UN organizations based in the city in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and to inspire people to help implement the Goals. The art is also in support of September’s UN Summit of the Future which aims to reinvigorate the multilateral system. The Vienna International Centre is home to more than a dozen UN organizations, offices and agencies. Their work encompasses a range of topics including nuclear safety and security, drug control, transnational organized crime and terrorism, sustainable development, international trade law and the peaceful uses of outer space.

The painting is in collaboration with the Calle Libre Street Art Festival, with the backing 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.

The Director of the Calle Libre Street Art Festival and Artistic Director of the project, Jakob Kattner, said: “With this monumental street artwork, we have not only made a lasting statement on the subject of peace, but at the same time created the largest mural in the city, which will have an impact on the population for many years to come.”

The project has been supported by the 22nd municipal district as well as the Australian embassy in Vienna. A “cherrypicker” crane was supplied pro-bono by Austrian company and Global Compact Network Austria participant, Palfinger, to transport the artist and his assistant to the top of the tower. Other private sector support to the Calle Libre Street Art Festival came from Murexin, Superbude Hotel, Warda Network, Obsidian Holding, Strabag Kunstforum and others. The Global Compact Network Austria is also behind the project.

The mural at the VIC will be made barrier-free for everyone with the installation of two tactile information boards, provided by Zero Project with support from VRVis and others. One will be outside the VIC and a second board inside the building.

Isabella Essl from the Zero Project said: “This artwork comes with a tactile board, which the Essl Foundation has made possible and its purpose is that it makes this great artwork that you see above me visible also for people with disabilities especially the blind and visually impaired.”

Twenty second district councillor and chair of the cultural commission Christian Stromberger said: “This work of art embraces on the one hand an extremely high level of craftmanship and on the other hand a high relevance of the theme, especially in these times, Fintan Magee’s theme of peace, is particularly of global importance.”

Australian Ambassador to the UN in Vienna Ian Biggs congratulated the Australian artist: “This is wonderful I have enjoyed watching the day by day progress while visiting the VIC and I understand that some very large number, more than a million people a month perhaps will be seeing the same truly wonderful vision over the next many, many years.”

The 50 metre high and 20 metre wide tower is close to the main entrance of the VIC and the street art will be seen by tens of thousands of people every day.

Around 50,000 visit the VIC every year and can see the mural on a guided tour. Visitors Service also offers a dedicated art tour which will include a stop at the Calle Libre artwork.

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.

More information about the project on our website

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For further information please contact:

Martin Nesirky
Director, UN Information Service Vienna
Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5676
Email: martin.nesirky[at]


Jakob Kattner,
Artistic Director of the Project, Calle Libre Street Art Festival
Mobile: (+43) 676 81 45 40 01
Email: office[at]

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