Look: This giant chair from 150-year-old tree is the result of 15,000 hours of recycling

Expo City's 'throne of peace' near the UAE pavilion has become a star attraction for people to pose

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Nandini Sircar

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A visitor sits on the 'Throne of Peace' by artist Sheikh Ali Almualla. Photos: M. Sajjad
A visitor sits on the 'Throne of Peace' by artist Sheikh Ali Almualla. Photos: M. Sajjad

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 9:27 PM

As COP28 in UAE welcomed visitors on Monday, an ornamental giant chair, known as the 'Throne of Peace,' emerged as a star attraction in Expo City's Green Zone. Crafted from a 150-year-old tree weighing 2.2 tons and the result of 15,000 hours of recycling, the majestic chair became a popular spot for people to pose near the UAE pavilion.

Its grandeur lies in the seamless integration of nature's beauty and the intricate craftsmanship of its local creator, Artist Sheikh Ali Almualla.

This tree was originally shipped from the island of Java in Indonesia to Sharjah in the UAE. Later on, a team of nine technicians with experience in blacksmithing, sculpture, fibreglass, and painting were assigned to bring it out as a masterpiece.

The throne that sets an example in sustainability measures 500 centimetres wide, 700 centimetres deep and stands at a height of 550 centimetres.

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'Throne of Peace' by Sheikh Ali Almualla
'Throne of Peace' by Sheikh Ali Almualla

Andor Steven, who works at Ardeco, a decor and furniture factory in Sharjah that collaborated to bring about this colossal structure, said, "The story narrates nature's life journey and the challenges it encountered. This tree chose to embark on a new existence, transforming into an extraordinary masterpiece — a throne embodying nature's beauty, resilience, strength, and constancy. It retains its natural intricacies, showcasing the unique patterns of colour and vein-like shapes, symbolizing resilience amid change and evolution."

Visitors at COP28, Expo City Dubai
Visitors at COP28, Expo City Dubai

The throne's base is formed from its colossal trunk, the bark weathered yet resilient, supporting the weight of the imposing structure.

The seat itself is a masterpiece, fashioned from a single massive slab, polished to a glossy sheen that reflects the light in mesmerizing patterns.

Embedded within the seat are knots and natural imperfections, each telling a story of the tree's history.

The backrest rises tall and imposing, intricately carved with intertwining roots and soaring branches that reach towards the sky.

"The arrangement of entwined branches and roots mirrors a sense of containment and tranquillity. This throne narrates the tale of Mother Nature's beauty, embodying stability and peace wherever it resides," added Steven.

This masterpiece is equipped with wheels for easy movement and a hydraulic crane installed inside the piece to ease the movement of lowering, rising, and mobility.

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A family takes photos with the 'Throne of Peace'
A family takes photos with the 'Throne of Peace'
Kids sitting on the 'Throne of Peace'
Kids sitting on the 'Throne of Peace'

Both children and grown-ups experienced a thrill as they relished their visit to COP28 on the UAE National Day holiday, pausing to sit and capture photos on this majestic throne.

10-year-old British expat Aaron Ringrose said, 'It is eye-catching when you walk past it. It's really nice. You want to sit down on it and take a photo.

"My brother wants to continue sitting there," he quipped. "I am interested to learn how it was transported. It looks pretty heavy; I am quite curious. I also want to know how many people would have been involved in making this."

Similarly, Tonny Kasinja, who is a visitor from Rwanda, said, "It's amazing, it really wowed me. When I was walking past this stretch, I thought, 'What a beautiful tree'. I love it. That's because it portrays nature. It also shows that there are a lot of conservation efforts that are going on in the UAE. The conference itself is very enriching, with people showcasing great sustainability ideas and coming up with different action agendas."

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