Good Defeats Evil, 1990

Zurab Tsereteli

Grounds of the United Nations. The visitors entrance to the UN is on the east side of First Ave., between 45th and 46th streets. Immediately upon entering the UN, turn left and walk down the path that is parallel to First Ave. The sculpture will be on your right.

The grounds of the United Nations are decorated with numerous sculptures that have been given to the organization by the governments of member countries as well as by individuals and other organizations [1].

Good Defeats Evil is a sculpture that combines traditional-style bronze work with a more contemporary material--American and Soviet missals. "Good" is represented by a depiction of St. George, who is astride a rearing horse. In his right hand he holds an enormous spear, with which he is slaying a writhing dragon, representing "Evil." The dragon lifts his head with one last attempt at resurgence, but it is clear that this is the dragon's last breath: the dragon's body, which is made of an American Pershing II missile and a Soviet SS20 missile, has been torn apart by St. George's spear.

Possible discussion themes
Different methods for representing abstract concepts.
Definitions of good and evil.
Works that are specific to a location for reasons of content.

Related art works
Many of the works in the United Nations plaza are also on the theme of peace or international relations. These works include:
      We Shall Beat Our Swords into Plowshares.
      Francisco de Vitoria.
      Roots and Ties for Peace

Peace Fountain at Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
This sculpture also depicts good triumphing over evil. Rather than political associations of good and evil, however, this sculpture portrays religious ideas. "Good" is shown in the figure of the archangel Michael, and "evil" is seen in the form of Satan, who has perished at Michael's sword.


  1. Gayle, M. & Cohen, M. (1988). The Art Commission and The Municipal Art Society guide to Manhattan's outdoor sculpture. New York: Prentice Hall Press. p. 119.

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