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UNESCO’s Art Collection started with the construction, in the 1950s, of the Organization’s Headquarters in Paris, designed by Marcel Breuer, Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss. On this occasion, the Organization selected among the contemporary artists of the time, those that would be commissioned to create a work of art for the decoration of the building. This selection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Jean Arp, Karel Appel, Afro Basaldella, Alexander Calder, Roberto Matta, Henry Moore and Rufino Tamayo, among others

Since then, the collection has continued to grow through purchases made until the 1980s, with works by artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesus Rafael Soto or Victor Vasarely, and thanks to donations made by Member States, from the construction of Headquarters and up until today.


UNESCO houses today the largest art collection in the United Nations system, comprised of over 700 old and modern works of artistic diversity from across the globe.

We would like to extend our thanks to all the interns that have contributed, directly or indirectly, to the construction of the site.