100th anniversary of the discovery of the Mohorovicic Discontinuity by Andrija Mohorovicic (1910) (2010)
Andrija Mohorovičić was a notable meteorologist and seismologist. In 1909 an earthquake struck the Kupa Valley with an epicentre about 40 kilometres south-east of Zagreb. Mohorovičić carefully measured the seismic waves created by the earthquake at the Zagreb observatory. By analysing data received from more observation posts, Mohorovičić concluded that the Earth consists of surface layers above an internal core. He was the first scientist to establish, based on the evidence of seismic wave behaviour, the discontinuity that separates the crust of the planet Earth from the mantle.
450th anniversary of the birth of Marko Antun de Dominis, philosopher and scientist (1560-1624) (2010)
Dominis was a member of the colleges of Venice. A trace of that time can be found in his celebrated works of physics: De radiis visus et lucis in vitris perspectivis et iride. This work is in fact a compilation of his lectures in physics in 1591 and 1592, thus 20 years before Galileo’s demonstration of the telescope. The book was published in Venice in 1611. Here Dominis explained the origin of the rainbow, the work of telescopes, the basic functioning of the eye and so on. In a second work: Euripus seu de fluxu et refluxu maris, he interpreted the ebb and flow of the tide as a result of the work of the sun and moon upon the earth with a force similar to magnetism. This was confirmed almost a century later by Newton when he explained gravitation.
|100th anniversary of the birth of José Lezama Lima, writer (1910-1976) (2010)
José Lezama Lima (1910-1976), a Cuban poet and writer, is considered to be one of the most original writers of twentieth-century Latin American literature.
He founded various avant-garde magazines, including Orígenes (1944), a focus for the generation of the same name, one of the most relevant in Cuban literature. As well as being a hermetic and baroque poet (Death of Narcissus; Rumour, The Enemy; Dador), he was also the author of many critical essays. His best known work, Paradiso, received international critical acclaim. It is both a colourful saga of a Havana family and a literary and poetic adventure in which the cultures of the Old and New Worlds meet.
100th anniversary of the birth of Karel Zeman, film-maker (1910-1989) (2010)
Karel Zeman (1910-1989), a Czech cartoon producer and film-maker, is one of the founders of the renowned Czech animated-film school. He began in advertising, in which he experimented with puppets for the first time. His first short film, Christmas Dream, won the award for the best puppetry animated film at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival (France). Later, in his “Fairy Tales for Old and Young” series (A Deadly Invention, Journey to the Prehistory), he created an original world that was to enchant cinema-goers worldwide. By combining puppets, special effects, animation and live actors, he produced a clever synthesis of fantasy and reality and made these films wholly mysterious. His adaptations of Jules Verne’s novels gave him further scope for exploring how to adapt the fantastic for the big screen.
100th anniversary of the birth of Monseñor Leonidas Proaño (1910-1988) (2010)
Monsignor Proaño devoted his life to human rights and the fight against poverty and illiteracy, focusing his actions on Indians. He was particularly active in the Foundation of Indian People of Ecuador. In 1960 he was delegated from Ecuador to the Latin America Episcopal Council (CELAM). He also created the Itinerant Pastoral from the Latin America Institute.
He participated in the Council of Theology of Liberation which considered poverty as a social matter and an obligation of the Church to protect the poor. As an example, he decided to use the fund of the Church to divide the properties of the Chimborazo Province and give them to the Indians for free, instead of constructing a new church.
Through his work and efforts during his life, Monsignor Proaño left a significant mark in Ecuador and the whole of Latin America.
|1100th anniversary of the foundation of the Abbey of Cluny (910) (2010)
The Abbey of Cluny was founded in 910 by William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine. Cluny symbolized the monastic revival in the Western world and was a leading intellectual centre in the High Middle Ages. By the end of the eleventh century, the Abbey of Cluny was an influential force throughout Christian Europe with a network – the first of its kind – of approximately 1,400 houses and some 10,000 monks. In 1088, work began on the Maior Ecclesia, the largest Romanesque abbey church ever built, with arches 30 metres high. During the French Revolution, the monks were expelled and dispersed throughout the surrounding parishes; the buildings were seized as national property and sold off. The remains of the Abbey bear witness to the architectural and spiritual magnificence of this masterpiece of the Romanesque, a unique part of French heritage. The Abbey of Cluny was recently awarded the European heritage label by the European Commission. The label is intended to highlight the European dimension of cultural properties, monuments, natural and urban sites and places of memory betokening European history and heritage. It aims to strengthen a sense of belonging to a common cultural area in the spirit of the 1972 Convention; it thus complements UNESCO’s work in the field of protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage to ensure, among other things, that conservation of sites and monuments is conducive to social cohesion.
|100th anniversary of the birth of Vakhtang Chabukiani, ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher (1910-1992) (2010)
Vakhtang Chabukiani – an outstanding ballet dancer, choreographer and ballet teacher of XX century, was granted outstanding gifts and physic. He possessed rich palette of expressive means. His Classical manner of dancing, virtuous technique and vigorousness created absolutely new male dancing style in the classical ballet.
Chabukiani was the partner to the world’s famous ballet dancers: Natalia Dudinskaya, Tatiana Vecheslova, Galina Ulanova and Maya Plesetkaya. In 1934 he toured the United States of America with Tatiana Vecheslova.
V. Chabukiani started his choreographic career when he was 16. Later, he established Georgian ballet troupe and managed it for 30 years. He taught extensively in Georgia and abroad and raised new generation of ballet dancers. In 2007, the ballet “Laurensia”steged by Vakhtang Chabukiani, was restored and included in the repertoire of Georgian ballet troupe.
Photo legend: Laurencia – Vera Tsignadze, Frondoso – Vakhtang Chabukiani.
|1000th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (2010)
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, is an outstanding example of medieval architecture in the Near East region. The current cathedral was built in the eleventh century by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze, though the site itself is even older dating back to IV-V centuries. The site is related to a number of legends that reflects the early Christian traditions and the adoption of Christianity by Georgia (I-IV cc). It is also considered as the symbol of Georgian centuries-old history. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the one of the largest historic church buildings preserved in the country. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta.
|550th anniversary of the birth of Tilman Riemenschneider, sculptor (c.1460-1531) (2010)
Tilman Riemenschneider (1460-1531), German sculptor, was one of the last generations of Gothic sculptors in Southern Germany, who worked largely in Würzburg (Bavaria). Riemenschneider and his workshop produced a large number of altarpieces in wood, but also made tombs and statues, and sometimes worked in alabaster and limestone.
Striking a rare balance between formal elegance and expressive strength, he stands solidly anchored in the late Gothic tradition while also reflecting emerging humanist concerns. He was one of the first sculptors to abandon polychromy on occasion. Towards the end of his life, the prosperous and successful Riemenschneider suffered a dramatic reversal of fortune. His sympathies for the rebellious peasants in the region in 1524 cost him dearly. Tilman Riemenschneider’s outstanding work was rediscovered on the eve of the nineteenth century.
|150th anniversary of the death of Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860) (2010)
Arthur Schopenhauer is known for his atheistic pessimism and philosophical clarity. His most influential work, The World as Will and Representation, emphasized the role of man’s basic motivation, which Schopenhauer called “will”. His metaphysical analysis of “will”, his views on human motivation and desire, and his aphoristic writing style influenced many well-known philosophers, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Sigmund Freud.
|100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa (1910-1997) (India, with the support of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) (2010)
Mother Teresa, the renowned Roman Catholic nun and missionary, was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910. In 1928 she went to India, where she devoted herself to helping the destitute. In 1948 she became an Indian citizen and founded the order of Missionaries of Charity in Kolkota (Calcutta) in 1950, which became noted for its work among the poor and the dying in that city. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first in India and then in other countries, including hospices and homes for the poorest and homeless. Mother Teresa’s work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1980 for her humanitarian work, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972) and the Balzan Prize (1979). Following her death she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. She had always stated, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world”. Her tomb in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike. Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakeable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity as a “mother of the poor”. She became a living symbol of compassion to the world, and a living witness to the thirsting love of God.
Mother Teresa’s message is fully in accordance with the UNESCO Constitution, and this celebration in 2010 will be a good opportunity to explain to young generations her message of compassion, tolerance, mutual respect, solidarity and peace. The commemoration of this anniversary would help to further disseminate globally Mother Teresa’s universal message.
1000th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Yaroslavl (1010) (2010)
Lying at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl, some 250 km north-east of Moscow, the historic city of Yaroslavl developed into a major centre of trade from the eleventh century onwards. It is renowned for its many seventeenth-century churches and is an outstanding example of the urban redevelopment programme ordained for the whole of Russia by the Empress Catherine the Great in 1763. While some of its important historic buildings were retained, the city was redeveloped in the neoclassical style on a radial plan. Remnants from the sixteenth century are also to be found in the Spassky Monastery, one of the oldest in the Upper Volga region, which was constructed in the late twelfth century but has been rebuilt over the years.
The historic city, with its seventeenth-century churches, neoclassical radial urban plan and civil architecture, is an outstanding example of the interchange of cultural and architectural influences between Western Europe and the Russian Empire. The historic city of Yaroslavl has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2005.
100th anniversary of the birth of Alioune Diop, Senegalese intellectual (1910-1980) (2010)
Alioune Diop (1910-1980) was a Senegalese intellectual who played a prominent role in the emancipation of African cultures. In 1947 he founded the journal Présence africaine, followed by the Society of African Culture, which has now become the African Community of Culture (CAC).
In 1956 he organized the First International Congress of Negro Writers and Artists, held at the Sorbonne in Paris and bringing together intellectuals and artists from many countries. Its 50th anniversary was celebrated at the Sorbonne and at UNESCO in 2006. In 1966, Alioune Diop, together with Léopold Sédar Senghor, organized the first World Festival of Negro Arts, held in Dakar. In the newly independent Senegal, this unique event also provided a first opportunity to commemorate the memory of slavery in the world and was the place where first the question of reparations was raised.
As an editor, Alioune Diop inspired a forum and created an intellectual movement of cultural demands known as negritude. He played a prominent role alongside other intellectuals in favour of the recognition and dissemination of the thought, cultures and arts of Africa and the Diaspora.
This anniversary will provide the artistic and cultural community, including the African and Africophile publishing world, with the opportunity to revisit the body of work of this illustrious figure in African civil society. The international community will be encouraged to support celebrations of Alioune Diop as part of the follow-up to the World Festival of Black Arts (FESMAN) and the Pan-African Cultural Festival, milestone events in placing culture at the heart of development.
150th anniversary of the birth of Martin Kukucín, writer (1860-1928) (2010)
Martin Kukučín (own name Matej Bencúr, 1860-1928), Slovak prose writer, dramatist and physician, was the most notable representative of Slovak literary realism, and considered to be one of the founders of modern Slovak prose. He studied medicine in Prague and spent his adult life in Croatia and Chile working as a physician. He maintained contacts with Slovakia largely by correspondence and publishing a series of texts on Dalmatian topics. His novels (Dom v stráni, Mat’volà, Dies irae) have been widely translated and have led to film productions and adaptations.
100th anniversary of the birth of Jeanne Hersch, philosopher (1910-2000) (2010)
Jeanne Hersch, a well-known philosopher with exemplary philosophical and academic credentials, marked her passage at UNESCO by being the first director of the Division of Philosophy, created in 1966. She was constantly searching for meaning, and embodied a powerful ambition for UNESCO to act in the field of philosophy, which she considered to be a stimulant and unique way of connecting the Organization’s varied and numerous activities. She thus played a key role in driving reflection in the twentieth century on freedom and human rights, and in this context she published a major work entitled The Right to Be a Man, which was translated into seven languages. She also played a significant role in enhancing the value of education, which she saw as an essential element of the human being. She excelled at explaining the most complex concepts in simple terms accessible to all.
100th anniversary of the birth of Euah Suntornsanan, composer (1910-1981) (2010)
A prolific and talented composer and bandleader, Euah Sunthornsanan was a pioneer in introducing Western music into Thai popular culture. In the 1940s, he founded the Suntaraporn which is Thailand’s best-known big band. He has extensively performed in Thailand but also in other countries in the region such as Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia or China. Through his music and songs he successfully contributed to generating forces for peace and harmony among South-East Asian countries. The celebration of the centenary of his birth will no doubt provide an excellent opportunity to promote a better understanding of his unique contribution through the universal language of music.
100th anniversary of the death of Osman Hamdi Bey, painter, archaeologist and art expert (1842-1910) (2010)
Osman Hamdi Bey (1842-1910) is one of the pioneers of Turkish museology and archaeology and also a distinguished painter. He established the country’s first museum, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. He conducted the first Turkish scientific archaeological excavation (at the Commagene tomb-sanctuary at Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site today). He also founded the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts (today’s Mimar Sinan University).
500th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Fyodorov, founder of book printing in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (1510-1583) (Ukraine, with the support of the Russian Federation and Belarus) (2010)
Ivan Fyodorov (1510-1583) was the most celebrated among printers and one of the fathers of Russian and Ukrainian printing. He produced the first printed Church Slavonic Bible (the “Ostroh Bible” of 1580-1581), the first Russian (or other East Slavic) textbook (Bukvar, 1574), and the first printed Russian alphabetical subject index, calendar and poem. He was an accomplished craftsman in numerous trades, and a man of broad vision and great persistence. He played an important role in the promotion of literacy and Eastern Orthodox confessional unity, and introduced a high level of content, design and craftsmanship into a critically needed profession.
1000th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Thang Long Ha Noi (1010) (2010)
Thang Long, which is Hanoi’s centre nowadays, was chosen by Ly Thai To, the founding king of Ly Dynasty, as the capital of Dai Viet Kingdom (nowadays Viet Nam) in autumn 1010. Thang Long means ascending dragon, symbolizing the will and thirst for independence of the Vietnamese people. Thang Long was almost continuously the capital city of Dai Viet Kingdom through different reigns.
The Cultural Heritage Complex of Thang Long – Hanoi consists of Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Thang Long Tu Tran and the Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temples of Literature – Imperial College).
From December 2002 to the beginning of 2004, the Viet Nam Archaeology Institute excavated on a large scale the archaeological site. This is the largest-scale archaeological excavation in Viet Nam and South-East Asia. A complex of abundant relics and vestiges has been discovered from Dai La citadel (seventh-ninth centuries) to Thang Long Citadel (eleventh-eighteenth centuries) and Hanoi citadel (nineteenth century).
Thang Long has been on the World Heritage Convention tentative list since 2006.