14.11.2017 - ODG

Guatemala donates to UNESCO a sculpture of Guatemalan Nobel Laureate in Literature, Miguel Ángel Asturias

In the framework of his visit to the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, the Minister of Culture and Sports of Guatemala, José Luis Chea, met today with the Director-General Irina Bokova, to present UNESCO with a bust of the late writer and Nobel Literature Prize winner Miguel Ángel Asturias, which is the work of the artist, Manolo Gallardo.

Minister Chea expressed the gratitude of Guatemala for the work accomplished by the Director-General during her eight years at the head of the Organization and reaffirmed the firm commitment of his country to continue promoting the close cooperation between Guatemala and UNESCO. The bust was donated by the G & T Foundation and delivered by its Executive Director, Mariflor Solís.

On this occasion, Minister Chea recalled that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Asturias, which he described as a "universal man and precursor of magical realism", who had sustained a strong relationship with Paris. The writer donated his personal library to the National Library of France and his remains rest in the Père Lachaise cemetery in the French capital.

Thanking the Minister for the donation, Director-General Irina Bokova described the bust as a symbol of the close ties that unite Guatemala and UNESCO, as well as the work of an artist and an intellectual committed to humanistic values.

During the bilateral meeting, the Minister mentioned the intention to inscribe the ruins of El Mirador on the World Heritage List, and the new findings in the Tak'alik Ab'aj National Park (inscribed in the tentative list of Guatemala since 2013). The Ambassador Permanent Delegate of Guatemala to UNESCO, Marco Tulio Chicas Sosa, highlighted the support provided by UNESCO in the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural goods, through training provided to the country. He confirmed his county’s support to UNESCO and Guatemala's commitment to cultural diplomacy. For her part, the Director-General highlighted the active participation of Guatemala in the work of UNESCO and thanked the country for its efforts after ratifying the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Castillo Sosa and the Vice Minister of Sports, Juan Alberto Monzón, were also present at the ceremony to donate the bust to UNESCO.




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