Blue Desert – Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh, Egypt - Atlas Obscura

Blue Desert

Brightly painted boulders scattered throughout the Sinai Desert. 


Not far from Mount Sinai, in the Saint Katherine Protectorate, lies the Blue Desert. Unlike the White Desert and the Black Desert (both in the Egyptian Sahara), the Blue Desert is not a natural creation, but a work of art.

Created in 1980 by Belgian artist Jean Verame, the groundbreaking Egyptian-Israeli Peace Agreement (1979) inspired the artist to paint several large boulders in this otherwise barren desert region in a bright blue color, symbolizing peace. The unusual peace monument is situated in the South of the Sinai Peninsula, a region which prior to the Peace Agreement, saw numerous battles between the warring countries. The artist used a total of 10 tons of paint, which were granted from the United Nations. Verame has since created similar monumental pieces of art in Morocco and Chad.

Update April 2018: The site has been closed by the Egyptian government and no longer allows visitors.

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October 17, 2011

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