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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
06-06-2003 5:00 pm Paris – Venezuelan model and actress Patricia Velasquez will be appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace on June 11 by the Organization’s Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. The ceremony will take place at 12 noon in the Salle des Actes.
Patricia Velasquez was born in 1971 in La Guajira, one of the poorest regions in Venezuela. From a modest background, with schoolteacher parents, Patricia had planned to work in the oil industry when, by chance she was spotted by a model scout and launched into a modelling career. She then turned to films (The Jaguar, The Mummy, The Return of the Mummy, etc.) and took advantage of her success to become involved in humanitarian projects. She founded the Wayuu Taya Foundation in 2003 to help the indigenous people of her region, to whom she is related through her mother.

As she explains in a letter to Koïchiro Matsuura, her Foundation has succeeded, in less than a year, in installing a water pump in a school that had no access to drinking water, and to take charge of a nutritional centre. “Our goal,” she goes on, “is to develop educational programs focused on nutrition, health care and basic job training.” The Foundation is also committed to helping native people preserve their cultural heritage.

Artists for Peace are international celebrities whose influence, charisma and prestige lend a special resonance to UNESCO’s message. Brazilian singer and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, Chinese actress Gong Li, Israeli architect Dani Karavan, South Korean opera singer Sumi Jo and Russian orchestra conductor Valery Guerguiev are among UNESCO’s Artists for Peace.

Journalists wishing to attend the ceremony should register
with the UNESCO press service. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48

Source Media Advisory No 2003 - 49


 ID: 12943 | guest (Read) Updated: 11-06-2003 2:06 pm | © 2003 - UNESCO - Contact