Navid Nuur

The Gift (permanent installation)
International Criminal Court premises in The Hague

Navid Nuur, The Gift, 2016
Navid Nuur, The Gift, 2016

The sculpture ‘The Gift’ by artist Navid Nuur marks the entrance of the new building of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The artwork is situated in the public area by the entrance in the dunes of The Hague.

A jury unanimously chose Navid Nuur’s design because its apparent simplicity contains clear universal imagery and has iconic value.

Navid Nuur: ‘The design radiates a sense of security, confidence, energy and strength. I wanted to do justice to the diversity and complexity of the cases dealt with by the ICC and at the same time relate at a profound level to the essence of what it means to be human and the universal emotions that connect us as people.’

The work of the ICC evokes emotions of joy and victory, but grief and loss play an equally big part. The stainless steel sculpture is based on the shape of salt crystals found in tears. Tears are a universal expression of emotions of happiness, triumph and relief, but also sorrow, pain, anger anddisappointment. Salt crystals are also found in the sea that connects all continents and sand dunes with which The Hague is inextricably linked. So the sculpture not only symbolises human emotions, but also the connection of continents and the natural setting of the host city.

Nuur entitled his work‘TheGift’to emphasise the ICC’s importance as an institution for international criminal law. The Court is a gift to the international community because it helps apply humanity’s gift for restoring societies. The artwork is also a gift in the literal sense: a gift from host nation the Netherlands to the ICC, to celebrate the opening of the new premises. The sculpture is situated at the corner of Oude Waalsdorperweg and Van Alkemadelaan in The Hague.

The International Criminal Court was established in 2002 as a permanent court for prosecuting and trying suspects of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court is based in The Hague: city of peace, security and justice. More information on the ICC can be found

Designs by three finalists were presented to a jury formed by the Director of Museum De Pont, the President of the ICC, the Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a representative of the Mayor of The Hague. Navid Nuur’s design‘The Gift’was unanimously selected as the host nation’s gift to the ICC.

Navid Nuur_2.jpg

Navid Nuur_1.jpg

Navid Nuur, The Gift, 2016