Hydro unveiled its peace bench in City Hall Square in Oslo, Norway. Placed outside the Nobel Peace Center, the aluminum bench was designed as a tool for dialog, its semi-circular shape bringing those who sit on it closer together. The peace bench is named “The Best Weapon” after a quote by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, who said “the best weapon is to sit down and talk.” Mandela’s quote is engraved into the aluminum surface of the bench that was first installed in front of the United Nations building in New York City. Light Metal Age first reported on the bench when it graced the cover of the August 2019 issue.
The installation is a symbol of diplomacy, paying tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their efforts to bring people together to find effective solutions for peace. This year, journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov will receive the Nobel Peace Prize during a ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2021.
“Being a global company with operations and activities all over the world, we see close dialogue with the communities we operate in as a foundation for viable business and sustainable operations,” said Hilde Merete Aasheim, president and CEO of Hydro. “As a long-term partner of the Nobel Peace Center, we are pleased that aluminium by Hydro can play a key role in this work of peace art.”
About the Bench
Hydro Aluminium joined together with design firm Snøhetta and furniture maker Vestre to create the interactive art installation. The aluminum bench is a curve that meets the ground at its lowest point. It is constructed from anodized aluminum sheet made of 5754 alloy with an H111 temper at Hydro’s rolled products facility in Hamburg, Germany. It stands 1.4 m tall (4.593 ft) and spans a width of nearly 6.5 m (21 ft).
Standing as a symbol of diplomacy and dialogue, the bench is a tangible tribute to the legacy of Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize, and efforts to find good and effective solutions for peace. Aluminum is a robust non-corrosive material, which will ensure the peace bench can host conversations for generations to come.