The Historical Archives is the official record keeper of the European Parliament. It manages and preserves the Parliament's official public documents and other archival fonds, dating back to1952. It also assists researchers on the history of the Parliament and European integration, publishes studies and articles on these subjects, and works closely with the EU Historical Archives at the European University Institute and the House of European History.
Publication "The first hemicycle of the European Parliament: Schuman Building, Luxembourg"
In its early years, the European Parliament held its plenary sittings in different locations, made available by other institutions or by the host countries. It was only in 1973, with the construction of the Schuman Building in Luxembourg, that the Parliament finally had its own premises with a hemicycle (debating chamber) for its plenary meetings.
Planned in the 1960s, with construction starting in 1970, the initial plans had to be adjusted to accommodate the expected enlargement of the Communities. In the 1970s, the hemicycle was used regularly for plenary sessions, but with the increase in the number of Members following the 1979 direct elections, the chamber was no longer large enough to hold all Members.
The Luxembourg hemicycle is noted for the artistic value of its decor, in particular the zinc bas-relief created by the Turin-based NP2 Group. Thanks to interviews with the artists, this briefing provides details of the artwork, including the story of how the Italian company came to be commissioned by the Belgian contractor fitting out the chamber.