June 26, 2020 / 12:12 PM / a month ago

Biodegradable grass fresco in Geneva marks U.N.'s 75th anniversary

A view of artwork called "World in progress" by French Saype made with an ecological mixture of chalk and charcoal and depicting two children kneeling in a circle as they draw a tree together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations on the lawn of its European headquarters is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, June 23, 2020 in this picture obtained by Reuters June 26, 2020. Valentin Flauraud for Saype/Handout via REUTERS

GENEVA (Reuters) - A French artist has painted a large biodegradable fresco on the lawn of the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva, marking Friday’s 75th anniversary of its founding.

Saype, who was born Guillaume Legros, created the “World In Progress” fresco to remind present generations of their duty to the future and to nature. It depicts two children kneeling in a circle surrounded by animals, as they draw a tree.

“Through children one can express deep thoughts, but in a lighter and poetic way. You can speak about the world and the values we are leaving them,” Saype told Reuters.

The graffiti artist, 31, made the image by spraying an ecological mixture of chalk and charcoal on 6,000 square meters of grass at the U.N.’s Palais des Nations in Geneva. His previous ephemeral works in his “Beyond Walls” series have appeared near monuments from Ivory Coast to Paris, France.

His latest work was donated by the host country Switzerland. The League of Nations, the precursor to the world body, first met in Geneva in Nov. 1920. The U.N. Charter was adopted on June 26, 1945.

Reporting by Denis Balibouse; writing by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Angus MacSwan

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