Events | 15-01-2023

IYOG 2022 announces ‘7 Glass Wonders of the World’

Many events highlighting glass were held around the globe during the UN-designated International Year of Glass (IYOG) 2022. One of the actions taken by the organising committee was to ask for nominations for ‘7 Glass Wonders of the World’.

These ‘7 Glass Wonders of the World’ would be seven objects, buildings, or places where glass had a ‘fundamental’ role.

More than 50 proposals, submitted by regional organisations from each continent, were assessed for originality, innovative character, plus historical, cultural and industrial character. The winners were announced at the IYOG closing conference and ceremony at the University of Tokyo in Japan on 9 December 2022.

The initiative was coordinated by Teresa Palomar, a researcher from VICARTE (Portugal) and ICV-CSIC (Spain), and the South Africa-based glass artist Lothar Böttcher. Glass professionals from the arts, architecture, science and industry formed the prestigious international jury.

After weeks of deliberation, the jury named the following 7 Glass Wonders, which are also unveiled in this video.

They are:

Glass from the Tomb of Tutankhamun, currently at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and, from 2023, also at the Grand Egyptian Museum, Gizeh (Egypt).

Lycurgus Cup at The British Museum, London. This cup displays a miraculous coluor effect. Under normal lighting, the glass appears jade green, but when lit from behind, it turns ruby red. Scientists found that this phenomenon is due to gold and silver nanoparticles in the glass. The cup is a cage cup, one of the most luxurious glass vessels of Roman times.

Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, France. Stained glass windows are often prominent in Gothic cathedrals, but in no other medieval building are the windows as dominant as in the Sainte-Chapelle. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France as the royal chapel and built from 1242 to its consecration on 26 April 1248. Nearly two-thirds are still the original glass panes dating back nearly 800 years.

The Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants at Harvard University in the US. Leopold (1822–1895) and Rudolf Blaschka (1857–1939) were a father-and-son team of Bohemian glass artists active in Dresden, Germany. From 1886 to 1936, they produced 4,300 glass models that represent 780 plant species in finest detail.

The Corning Museum of Glass in New York, US. The largest glass collection in the world, combined with a library that seeks to build a comprehensive collection of books, archival, and rare materials about glass, and a studio where artists teach their art of glassmaking. The Museum opened its doors in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York in 1951. Despite its distance from large cities, it welcomes more than a quarter of a million visitors from all over the world each year.

Optical Fibres. A glass rod, when heated, can be pulled into an ever-thinner and seemingly endless glass thread. In the 1960s, researchers set the stage for a technological revolution, and since the 1970s, glass fibres about as thick as a human hair have been used to transport huge quantities of information, functioning, in simple terms, as light bouncing in a tube.

Hubble Space Telescope. The first dedicated observatory was launched and deployed into orbit by the space shuttle Discovery on 24 April 1990. Two mirrors of ultra-low expansion glass give Hubble its optical capabilities. A primary glass mirror of 2.4 m diameter and weighing approximately 800 kg reflects its light on the 0.3 m secondary mirror. Hubble has revealed crystal clear views of our universe and has made more than 1.5 million observations during its 30 years of service.

Following the IYOG closing ceremony in Japan there was a final debriefing meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, US, on 14 December 2022. This event reviewed the impact of the many events held throughout 2022 and future implications for the world of glass. Watch the full debriefing session in this video.

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