The $23 Million Ceiling

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon was on hand at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to reveal the newest $23 million addition to the Human Right’s Council Chamber-

And what exactly inspired this year long project?

“On a day of immense heat in the middle of the Sahel desert, I recall with vivacity the mirage of an image of the world dripping toward the sky,” Barcelo, the artist,  says. “Trees, dunes, donkeys, multicolored beings flowing drop by drop.”

Such a pricetag obviously comes with it’s share of controversy.   MSNBC reports-

The Spanish Foreign Ministry says the government is funding 40 percent of the costs, with the rest footed by private-sector donors. Of the public money, 500,000 euros ($633,000) comes from a budget for overseas development aid and international organizations like the United Nations.

Spain’s conservative opposition Popular Party complained that this means money was diverted from projects to alleviate poverty and boost health care in poorer countries, but the ministry insists the funding for Barcelo’s work was separate.

The dispute reached Parliament last week, with Popular Party lawmaker Gonzalo Robles asking “how many thousands of children could have been looked after” with the money spent on the artwork. The ruling Socialists accused him of twisting the facts.

While completely unsurprising, this level of extravagence should be condemned by both the left and right. While I believe most United Liberty readers hold suspect the efforts of both international organizations and government promoting social welfare, I think we would all agree that if the money is going to be spent, it should be spent frugally and directed specifically to those who are most in need. Bureaucrats, whether they be in Brussels, DC, NYC, or Geneva, by no means qualify as “those most in need”.


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