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The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

During its first years of activity, the European Parliament held its plenary sittings in different locations, made available by other Institutions or by the hosting countries.

It was only in 1973, with the construction of the Schuman building in Luxembourg, that the European Parliament decided to equip its premises with a hemicycle for its meetings.

The hemicycle

The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

Pieter DANKERT

Located on the first floor of the building, the big rectangular room (28 x 20 metres) was designed specifically to host the plenary sittings of the European Parliament, which at the time comprised 142 people. The room was subsequently enlarged following the accession of the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland in 1973.

The hemicycle is still in use, and can accommodate up to 208 persons. It has interpretation rooms for 8 different languages, and on the upper floor, the gallery and press room can host up to 200 people.

The first plenary sitting using the hemicycle was held on 4 April 1973.

The decor

The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

by kind permission of the Nerone Giovanni Ceccarelli Archive

The hemicycle is beautifully decorated following a project by the architect Simonis, combining different materials (leather, wood, metal) in a geometrical harmony, the whole integrated by the zinc bas-relief on the rear wall. This work of art is signed by the Italian artists Nerone Ceccarelli and Giancarlo Patuzzi from the group NP2 of Turin and dated 1972.

The hemicycle is beautifully decorated following a project by the architect Simonis, combining different materials (leather, wood, metal) in a geometrical harmony, the whole integrated by the zinc bas-relief on the rear wall.

This work of art is signed by the Italian artists Nerone Ceccarelli and Giancarlo Patuzzi from the group NP2 of Turin and dated 1972.

The zinc models were engraved using an etching technique, representing geometrical and abstract figures, and mounted on a surface of 150 square metres. The bas-relief was considered at the time to be the biggest sculpture in metal of the world.

The room soon grew too small to host the growing parliamentary assembly (410 deputies were elected in 1979), but has remained in use, often hosting important meetings and events.

About Historical Archives

The Historical Archives maintain and make available to the public the documents related to the legislative and political activity of the European Parliament from 1952 until the 6th parliamentary term (2004-2009).

Discussion

4 thoughts on “The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

  1. Reblogged this on Marcus' s Space.

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    Posted by Marcus Ampe | May 21, 2014, 18:32
  2. Reblogged this on tolmima.

    Like

    Posted by Phoenix | May 21, 2014, 15:07

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The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved

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