UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council chamber -- one of the world's most familiar rooms since it was built nearly six decades ago -- hosted its last meeting on Wednesday before a two-year renovation project.
The chamber is being closed as part of a $1.9 billion plan to refurbish the entire United Nations complex in Manhattan. For the time being, the 15-nation council will meet in a conference room in the basement, U.N. officials said.
With its horseshoe-shaped table and chairs upholstered in the U.N. color of light blue, the chamber has featured in countless photographs and television news clips.
Completed in 1952, it was a gift of the Norwegian government and was designed by Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg.
Wednesday's last meeting in the chamber was devoted to a briefing of the council by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a trip he paid to the Middle East last weekend.
The council is scheduled to reoccupy the refurbished chamber in early 2012, said Werner Schmidt, a spokesman for the renovation project.
(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip, Editing by Sandra Maler)