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Embassies and consulates are mysterious. You cannot just walk in. They are usually surrounded by fences, heavy locks, cameras and guards. In order to give off the aura of representation, embassies are often found in splendid buildings, in front of which the country’s flag blows in the wind. Entering the building feels like walking off a gangway after a long flight just as if stepping foot into another country for the first time. Furniture, smell, paintings, strange sounding voices confront you all at once. It seems as though you have travelled a long journey within just a short moment. The centre of these buildings is not the staircase, not the secretary’s office, not even a conference room. It is the ambassador’s or consul’s office, more precisely it is the ambassadors‘ desk. A desk which is covered with screens, keyboards, newspapers, writing utensils, and documents of all sorts. Made of wood, metal, glass or plastic, it is usually surrounded by country-specific interiors. Sometimes, the desks are properly tidied up with books in place running parallel to the grain of the wood while others are left behind in a state of chaos due to hectic circumstances.

Each of these desks is different. Each of these desks marks the end of a small journey. 5


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Albania

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Azerbaijan

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Canada

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Estonia

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Georgia

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Jordan

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Malta

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Panama

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Slovenia

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Sweden

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Switzerland

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Thailand

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CANADA

PANAMA

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SW ES SWITZ SLO AL MA


WEDEN STONIA ZERLAND OVENIA LBANIA GEORGIA AZERBAIJAN ALTA JORDAN THAILAND

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ALBANIA ALBANIA O

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N AT RA 22 A desk, embedded in a room filled with Albanian art. The centre of an embassy in which six diplomats regulate the interests of 1,500 Albanians in the Netherlands. The natural light entering through the skylight illuminates the ambassador‘s desk. The white candle does not need to be lit. For almost 20 years, the desk has been the property of the Albanian foreign representation. In 1998, for the opening of the embassy building, the piece of furniture was purchased. Its location allows a clear view of the room. Each Albanian accessory can enjoy its adequate free space.

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AZERBAIJAN AZERBAIJAN

This desk, currently unoccupied, is awaiting the designation of a new ambassador. Important work tools are ready for use - observed by the brisk glance by current President Ilham Aliyev. The room itself is decorated with ornaments from Azerbaijan. In 2012, the Embassy of Azerbaijan moved into the premises. And so, this desk found its new place in the building in which the embassy of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was located in times long past.

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CANADA CANADA AN

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A desk that was being used and left just for this photo in the middle of some thought. The glass surface is covered with documents, a newspaper and a Dutch language text book. The warm wood panelling stands in stark contrast to the bright furniture and an elephant that has just managed to get into the picture.

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ESTONIA ESTONIA

The ambassador‘s desk was purchased when the Embassy moved in 2006. On its way to the Netherlands, the desk did not have to cross the Baltic states. Rather it had to cross the Alps coming from Italy. Distinctive lines and the deep brown varnish harmonise with the rest of the furnishings and exude a sense of calmness. This seems to have even soothed the table-flag, in contrast to its siblings in front of the building.

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GEORGIA GEORGIA

This desk is of a particularly international nature. Made in Brussels using Italian wood, it now faces the centre of political power in the Netherlands - the Binnenhof. What an impressive professional advancement especially when keeping in mind that the desk is only seven years old.

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JORDAN JORDAN

At the age of twenty, this desk is the oldest “employee� at the Jordanian embassy. Due to the careful daily cleaning of the valuable wood, one would not suspect its long life experience. The glamour emanating from the desk also pleases the three Jordanian highnesses visible in the background.

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Peace reigns over this desk - inspired by the well-known building visible through the window. If this order is threatened, the tip-ex is ready to eliminate disruptive factors. The Maltese Embassy is located in a former cinema. A glance outside remind us of a film backdrop.

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PANAMA PANAMA

Acquired in 2013 in the Netherlands, this desk is the Ambassador‘s daily object of work. Made of oak wood, framed by a national flag, a PC and a telephone, this desk probably knows nothing of its uncertain future. The current ambassador would like to change the desk for a more modern piece of furniture - after four years of state service.

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SLOVENIA SLOVENIA A

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U PA AT RA 11 The Ambassador‘s desk conveys a secret referring to its origin. Although it is suspected that the piece of furniture was transported many kilometres by truck from Slovenia to The Hague, one is not certain. It is estimated to be about 17 years old. Angular shapes alternate with slight curves. Dark brown lines in the wood create a border for the collection of working materials.

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SWEDEN SWEDEN

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ble. The tables imported from Sweden by means of

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does not make the Swedish design objects more visi-

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this desk or better said desks. Even the burning lamp

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Like a blanket, paper, cups and writing utensils lie on

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a truck in 2004 are made of multiplex plywood. Like the islands Utรถ and Ornรถ, the two desks stand side by side - connected by work.

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RH 42 Although the Netherlands and Switzerland are not separated by a sea, this desk has travelled by ship to The Hague. It has called this historic building on the Lange Vorhout its home for two years now. Desk and interior form a strong contrast. In the glow of the desk lamp, there is a writing instrument, just put down and left amid the fragrance of yellow ro­­ses. This desk, currently unoccupied, is awaiting the designation of the ambassador. Important work tools are ready for use - observed by the brisk look of current President Ilham Aliyev. The room itself is decorated with ornaments of Azerbaijan. In 2012, the Embassy of Azerbaijan moved into these premises. Thus, this desk also found its place in the building in which the embassy of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was located in earlier times.

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THAILAND THAILAND AN LA S

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that is more than 120 years old. It was used as the residence up until 30 years ago. The desk, about 10 years old, has not crossed an ocean, at least not since it was manufactured. It was produced in the Netherlands and is made of plywood. The Ambassador is busy working at that desk nine-to-five and beyond. Behind the desk are photos of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit who reigned the Kingdom of Thailand at the time when this photo was taken.

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The Thai Ambassador‘s desk can be found in a house


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Participating Embassies

Embassy of Albania

Embassy of Malta

Hoge Nieuwstraat 22

Carnegielaan 4-14

2514 EL The Hague

2517 KH The Hague

Embassy of Azerbaijan

Embassy of Panama

Andries Bickerweg 6

Amaliastraat 3

2517 JP The Hague

2514 JC The Hague

Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Slovenia

Sophialaan 7

Anna Paulownastraat 11

2514 JP The Hague

2518 BA The Hague

Embassy of Estonia

Embassy of Sweden

Zeestraat 92

Jan Willem Frisolaan 3

2518 AD The Hague

2517 JS The Hague

Embassy of Georgia

Embassy of Switzerland

Lange Vijverberg 12

Lange Voorhout 42

2513 AC The Hague

2514 EE The Hague

Embassy of Jordan

Embassy of Thailand

Badhuisweg 79

Laan Copes van Cattenburch 123

2587 CD The Hague

2585 EZ The Hague


COPYRIGHT Š 2019 Christian Hauska www.christianhauska.com Second edition All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher. Manifactured in The Netherlands Designed by Stefan Christian Hoja | www.hoja-design.com English translations by Carol Berenbaum


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