Sphere Within a Sphere Sculpture at the United Nations: What Does it Mean?

On a gorgeous early New York City Spring day, I strolled by the United Nations and came across this arresting sculpture.  Two giant shiny bronze balls,  one contained within the other with the larger ripped apart leaving a large jagged edges.

At first glance it seemed like a cracked egg, albeit a round one with a newborn about to be hatched.   But what does it really mean?

After a little quite a bit of digging online I found out that the work of art, called Sfera con sfera or Sphere within a Sphere was created by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who was born near Pesaro and now lives and works in Milan.  It was presented as a gift to the United Nations by Lamberto Dini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy  and unveiled on November 21, 1996 in New York City.

The United Nations Sphere within a Sphere exhibit is not the only one. Pomodoro also created additional Spheres as part of a series spanning over 50 years.

Among the locations for his exhibits of the Spheres were  the Vatican Museums, Trinity College, in Dublin, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of California, Berkeley, and Pesaro in Italy.

After  scouring the web for a lot longer than anticipated, I discovered that there is surprisingly little out there regarding the meaning of these Spheres.

One of the few good overviews I found was Four Corners of the World by Brian Glanz on Flickr.

I guess like all good works of art, we can derive our own meaning. Since I saw it at the U.N. together with the large roundness of it, I saw a globe, or our world aging, changing and breaking wide open with a new and emerging one with all of it’s glorious imperfections  demanding to be heard.

What does it mean to you?


  1. Chungkit says:

    It's beautiful, definitely worth taking a trip up to the U.N. to see in person.

  2. Thanks! Picture was taken with the not-so-good iPhone camera :-) Definitely worth a visit for live preview

  3. ana ashland says:

    its a world within a world its sort of like changin the world a better world coming out of a bad one

    • Hey Ana, thanks for stopping by and commenting! We have similar interpretations of what this sculpture represents – an optimistic view – a better world :-)

  4. I see, that in ancient times there was a same kind of world and an Earth, what we know of. It was their world, their bad and good place to live… that inner sphere. Now it’s the same place, but for people nowadays it’s new in all good and badness, because they don’t really know for a sure about that inner sphere’s world and time. Learning from History, Religion and Science is reason for those spheres to be located near Museums and Universities, and Holy Places. Because everytime you learn something about the old World, you learn about this new World. …that is my confusing opinion about those spheres.

  5. I look at them from a religious viewpoint, so for me they follow the writing in the Bible that teaches that hell is in the heart/centre of the earth. In the last times that which rules hell will escape onto the outer earth and attempt to rule mankind for a short time. It’s nice of the NWO to give us such an obvious hint.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective, Seven. The beauty of art (and this is beautiful art!) is that it has as many interpretations and evokes as many emotions as those who view them.

      • Ron willison says:

        I see hru different colored glasses than everybody else i think. Based on my obsession with understanding the universe and ancient history. I believe the sphere speaks to the fractal and mechanical nature of the macro to the micro. It also says to me that something in the big machine has broken. For those reading this who may have an interest in both cosmology and Physic’s. I would urge you to google David Lapoint and / or his just released in 2013 Youtube videos called “The primer Fields” Parts 1, 2, and 3 of seven. Mark my words. In the near future he will be as famous and reverred as Einstein.

  6. It’s creepy as it reminds me of the Illuminati controlled world we live in. The strange, mechanical-looking inner world reminds me of the Borg from Star Trek.
    Doesn’t anyone see the sick side of this sculpture. Wake-up peeps!

    • Ron willison says:

      I kinda got that from it too at first. If you are correct. My conclusion would be that it now says/ The one world government agenda minded folks know that all that work and expense put into that project is failing. When you build a house with deception, guile, and murder as the glue holding your foundation together. That house just is not going to last very long. Graphic example. The EU.

  7. It is depicting the expected Extinction Level Event when the Earth is impacted by another celestial body. Notice all the fracturing of both objects upon impact.

  8. I’m pretty sure that if you asked Mr. Pomodoro about the comments above, he’d assure you that it “means” none of those things. The thought processes and technical problems to be solved in the production of a complex bronze casting such as this is meaning enough for the artist. This does not preclude, however, the projection of your own thoughts onto the piece – that is a big part of the compelling nature of an abstract work such as this.

    • Appreciate your thoughts, Rob, especially since it comes from the perspective of the artist.

      Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. [Wikipedia]

      This piece certainly does that as these comments indicate.

    • Ron willison says:

      Are you sure that it is not the Anti-Gravity Propulsion unit/engine out of that saucer that came down in Roswell NM back in 1947?.

  9. I just recently went to the Vatican Museum. The tour guide told us that it was suppose it represented our Earth (outer sphere) and the new Earth (inner) that will come after we destroy this one. But if you notice the inner sphere has cracks as well, it represents the fact that we will destroy that one too. It’s very pessimistic but probably completely accurate.

    • Mike, thanks so much for sharing — directly from the guide at the Vatican Museum! I guess we humans, in all our glorious imperfections are destined to ultimately destroy our worlds. Yet a new world is benevolently offered us.

  10. also one at the vatican…and the one that survived the twin towers fall..

  11. Jack Stawle says:

    Check these movies out for a taste of what these sculptures mean: Dark City (1998) & Knowing (2009). There are others as well.

  12. Larry Thompson says:

    I believe this is one of those subliminal hints that a new one world government is impending. A depiction of the old order going away, the old order of the nation’s state, and a new one world governmental system that’s being brought into fruition by globalization.

  13. Johnson says:

    I think they could represent the hidden, subtle, yet in your face mechanical and mathematical nature of nature,….. the complexity of simplicity,,.,. measurement,, balance,,, cause and effect,,, construction,,, motion,,,,

  14. The Vatican Sphere is Obviously a World that collided with ANOTHER World!! The Vatican has been Hiding technology and ancient history for thousands of years. They have been in control of our bible and manipulating humanity since they existed!!

    a Planet Nibru is suppose to collide with earth. I’m not sure if the world or one of its Moons is going to hit us but we are supposedly about to be hit by this world. It is not a metaphor for a world within a world. It is literally a world within a world as it impacted into earth!!

    If you want to know the secrets of the Vatican try researching the things they DON;T want us to know!! Like Mayan History, the Mayan calendar. Sumerian cuneiform!! It explains it all!!

    Zackeria Sitchen might have been wrong about a Lot. But he was correct about a LOT as well. I am Christain and I know enough about the bible to know ZS. Was telling us MOSTLY truth!!

    ZS Said dooms day was more around 2180. So we should expect Nibru to impact earth about that time.. Its no surprise the U.N. along with all the punks that hide information from people have these things allover.. Its in our face!! “Look how Ignorant you all are!! we can put these signs right in front of your face and when you wine about being killed we can tell you (we told you so, we gave you every warning we could!!)”

    That is that!!

    I saw northern lights in Cancun this June.. Come to find out this is a sure sign of Polar shift. I reported it to MUFON they said it is NOT a UFO because we know exactly what it is “It is cosmic radiation let into our atmosphere due to weak magnetic field!” I say “Well beings this can cause EMP and compass spin Im kind of let down my airline did not warn me of this. She tells me “They have been warning us but yo9 have to listen to that warning for it to take any effect. We know there was a solar flare that day”

    Good point.. Here I am asking WHERE IS MY WARNING.. But hey.. They told us.. Same with this sphere.. YOu have to have tripple digit IQ to figure it out.. So all Idiots die.. I think it needs to happen frankly Im tired of Idiots talking crap/. How many people I hear talk about the Mayan Calendar forgetting leap year!! I mean these idiots talk this as if there is SOME factual basis for this claim.. WHERE did they hear this? Did they just make it up?

    FACT is the Mayan calendar has always been much more accurate than ours. We have to make up a day every 4 years. so if we go 3 years we are missing 3/4 of a day.. The Mayan calendar adds a quarter day per year.. Hmm which one is more accurate on the scale of ONE YEAR??? No brainer!!

    Anyway.. Its really hard to figure what to believe when to many people just talk facts as if they are facts!! I my self have to validate twice as much in order to form my opinion!!

    Everything I believe can be validated through FACTUAL I8nformation!! ALL the facts are out there to be found!! You just have to want to find them bad enough!!

  15. I just returned from a tour of the Vatican and was told that Pope John Paul II commissioned this to represent the earth in trauma. The sphere (huge) can be stopped or started in rotation by a single person, to help demonstrate the power of each individual to protect the world. Thus the tour guide framed the Pope as a strong environmentalist. I have not found anything to corroborate this explanation. Anyone?

  16. This reminded me of Ezekiel in the Bible where he desicribes the wheel with in the wheel.

  17. Earth is hollow.


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