The grounds and premises of the Palais des Nations that is popularly known as seat of the United Nations Office at Geneva has many a good number of fine objects as donated and subjugated by Member States, private sponsors and artists. The Celestial Sphere in the Ariana Park of the Palais des Nations is one of those most popular objects. It is a massive four meter diameter Celestial Sphere is the work of the noted and much popular American sculptor Paul Manship (1885–1966). It was there donated in 1939 by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to that times League of Nations building. It is also known as with another name Woodrow Wilson Memorial Sphere of the Palais des Nations. At present it is a symbol of Geneva International and of Geneva as the centric center of dialogue and regular peace.
The original thought of this sphere and globe emerged into the mind of Manship when he was contacted by the Board of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Manship there was asked to given an idea about a memorial to President of the United States Woodrow Wilson as the starter and pioneer of the League of Nations. At that time the Palais des Nations was there on under construction. Before the sphere his first idea was about making two doors to the Assembly Hall from the Halle de Pas Perdus. Both the artist as well as donor, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, did not like this idea and expressed the unsuitably of the door as memorial. Then he proposed a large-scale version of the present celestial sphere, that h made after the years of study. It is based upon several earlier versions, including the Aero-Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It differs from these in that this Sphere has support of about four tortoises, taken from his models for the gates to the New York Bronx Zoo. .
He explained the sphere as in following words as, “The representation of the heavenly constellations is derived from Babylonia and Assyria: the Greeks and Latins added their names and gave the constellations a local significance in some cases and I have adhered as closely as possible to the ancient forms… harmonious ensemble”. After the approval from the committee as in the spring of 1936, as according to the approval of the committee Manship started working on sphere on a model in wax. He assembled the team of sculptors and other artists as to work upon the various aspects of the design. His time was consisted of the famous to that time including Angelo Colombo, Giuseppe Massari, and Richard Pousette-Dart. It was competed by in 1938. It measures around 410 centimeter in diameter and has total weight of 5,800 Kg. It as United Nations symbol was inaugurated in September 1939.