The iconic UNICEF snowflake is a 28-foot ornament made up of 16,000 hand-cut Baccarat crystals, that hovers over the intersection of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. It represents a campaign led by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to stop children from dying of preventable causes.
The snowflake was first installed in 1984 and comprised of a 20-foot steel frame, gold tinsel, and hundreds of 11W bulbs. It was donated to UNICEF in 2002 by the Stonbely Family Foundation. By 2005 UNICEF received a new snowflake, designed by Ingo Maurer and his team in Germany. With a weight of more than 3,300 pounds, a diameter of 23 feet, and 28 feet in height, the UNICEF Snowflake is one of the largest outdoor chandelier of its kind. It contains almost 16,000 crystals manufactured by Baccarat onto the frame and has 16 halogen metal halide spots, 84 halogen spots, 24 stroboscopes and 300 LED blinkers with a total electricity power of 7,520 watts.
The Snowflake is taken down in mid-January, and stored away in a warehouse in Harlem, New York City, in five giant crates. The Snowflake is tucked safely away for the year with many of the other holiday decorations that transform New York City into a winter wonderland.
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