Ministers’ Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2007)87 23 May 20071

999bis Meeting, 20 June 2007
11 Administration and Logistics

11.3 Committee for Works of Art (C-ART)

Report of the 24th meeting (Strasbourg, 17 April 2007)


1. The Committee for Works of Art held its 24th meeting on 17 April 2007.

2. The Committee of Ministers was represented by Mr D BUČAN, Permanent Representative of Croatia, who took the chair, and by Mr B GAIN, Permanent Representative of France.

3. The Parliamentary Assembly was represented by Mr J LEGENDRE, Mr E O'HARA having apologised for his absence.

4. The Secretariat was represented by Mrs Alison SIDEBOTTOM, representing the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, Mr C GRAYSON, representing the Secretariat of the Assembly, Mr P PENNINCKX, representing the Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General, and Mr E LHERITIER, Head of the Buildings and Installations Department, secretary to the committee. Mrs G HEDMAN, Director of Logistics, representing the Director General of Administration and Logistics, had apologised for her absence.

Mr Bruno BROMMER, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany, was invited and present for the item presented in paragraph 6.

5. The committee met in order to make recommendations on the following proposals:

Plan to renovate the courtyards inside the Palais de l’Europe

6. The Secretariat told the committee that, for technical reasons, it was necessary to renovate the two indoor courtyards on the first floor of the Palais de l’Europe which housed the "Water Forest" gifted by Germany to the Council of Europe in 1978, starting with the one adjacent to the Parliamentarians' Bar: the system which circulated water for the columns was leaking and the floor covering was in a poor state.

This renovation raised two considerations:

- a possible change of floor covering by replacing the (badly worn) artificial turf green carpet by teak or other solid wood flooring, on the basis of the results of a 2004 competition of ideas, would alter the environment of Norbert Kricke’s "Water Forest", which comprised a number of transparent columns with water flowing through them;

- the columns themselves were in a poor state of repair. Together with their water circulation system, they had been an official gift from Germany in 1978. The Secretariat thus could not simply decide to replace them, nor did it have the necessary budget to replace them.

The committee was unanimously in favour of the replacement of the artificial turf carpet by wood flooring. It mandated the Secretariat to:

- contact the Norbert Kricke foundation to inform it of the plan and obtain its opinion;
- obtain estimates from some firms for replacing the columns and their water circulation system. As regards the columns, two possibilities could be priced:

    - new columns made of the same material as the present ones (commercially known as Plexiglas). This material had the disadvantage that its aesthetic quality declined as it aged: it started off transparent but became translucent, and was easily scratched;

    - new columns made of glass, a material of higher quality which aged much better, but was far more expensive.

The estimates would be submitted to the Permanent Delegation of Germany, which would then make its position known. The renovation work of the courtyards could then be considered in the light of the outcome of the consultations.

Request by a Spanish Member of the Assembly concerning the sculpture given by the region of Murcia and displayed on the main lawn in front of the Palais de l’Europe.

7.The member of the Assembly (Mr A Fernández Aguilar) called for the Austrian sculpture to be moved further away again and for the construction of a permanent path around the sculpture, with access from the pavement on Avenue de l’Europe.

Bearing in mind its decision to no longer place more works of art on the lawn, and also bearing in mind certain technical difficulties and budgetary constraints, the committee decided not to change the current situation and display on the main lawn, and asked the Secretariat to advise Mr A Fernández Aguilar of this.

New position for the bust of Mr Vedovato

8. The committee recommended that the bust of Mr Giuseppe Vedovato, currently in the library on the ground floor of B Building, be moved to the gallery on the second floor of the Palais, outside Room 5, and be placed on a suitable mounting.

Publication of a new book on the works of art

9. After the Secretariat had presented several estimates for a new book on the Council of Europe's works of art, the committee asked it to examine possible financing through voluntary contributions and, at the same time, to see how the catalogue of works of art could be made available on the Internet, bearing in mind issues of copyright.

Information about the placing of the gift from Armenia, the sculpture entitled "Tamada” (Toastmaster)

10. The committee approved the placing of the "Tamada" (Toastmaster) sculpture given by Armenia, and previously held in storage, in the office of the President of the European Court of Human Rights, in the Human Rights Building.

Hanging of the "Fish and Shark" picture in the Private Office

11. The committee approved the hanging of Turhan Selcuk’s painting, "Fish and Shark", given by Turkey in 1996 and previously held in storage, in the communal area of the Private Office on the 3rd floor of the Palais de l'Europe, near the Deputy Secretary General's office.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set out in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.



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