06.01.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Director-General expresses sorrow over death of Mozambican artist Malangatana


The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova expressed her sorrow over the death of Malangatana, renowned Mozambican artist and a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

“With the death of Valente Ngwenya Malangatana, African art has lost one of its greatest talents. He was not only a wonderful artist but also an ardent defender of peace,” the Director-General said.  

Valente Ngwenya Malangatana was born in the village of Matalana in the South of Mozambique in 1936. Renowned for his vast canvases toiles and frescos of colourful crowds, he was also recognized as a ceramicist, engraver, sculptor and poet. After the independence of Mozambique in 1975, Malangatana received commissions for many public works, including the mural paintings of the Museum of Natural History and the Centre of African Studies at Eduardo Mondlane University.  

Malangatana created a fresco in Maputo during the UNESCO Conference on Culture of Peace and Governance (September 1997). During the same year Malangatana was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace, and donated of one of his works, entitled “Youth and Peace”, to the Organization. It is currently exhibited at UNESCO headquarters.

Malangatana exhibited in many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. His works can be seen at the National Museum of Art of Mozambique, as well as in galleries and private collections in Angola, India, Nigeria, Portugal and Zimbabwe.

Up to his death, he was the Director of the Association of the Matalana Cultural Centre, whose integrated development project is based on economic activity and social mobilization through occupational training and the creation of small businesses.

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