Croatian actor Relja Basic named UNESCO Artist for PeaceThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will name the Croatian actor Relja Basic UNESCO Artist for Peace in a ceremony on October 6 at Organization Headquarters (Hall Ségur, 7 p.m.). The event will be followed by the opening of an exhibition on Croatian sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Mr Basic is being honoured “for his outstanding career achievements in the performing arts and his lifelong contribution to film and theatre.”
He has acted in some 3,000 theatre plays and more than 120 films and television series at home and abroad. After performing in Croatia’s National Theatre from 1956 to 1968, Mr Basic founded the “Visiting Theatre” (Teatar u gostima) in Zagreb, in 1974, of which he was the director until his retirement last February at the age of 74. The Visiting Theatre has performed throughout the former Yugoslavia and some 500 times abroad.
Mr Basic who is also a theatre director, does not believe that “theatre can change the world”, but that “its present role is to bring people closer together.” He considers theatre to be “like a temple in which we are all equal.” In becoming a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Mr Basic commits to promote intercultural dialogue, particularly among young people in the Southeast of Europe.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are international celebrities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCO’s message and programmes. Other celebrated UNESCO Artists for Peace include, Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil, who is now Minister of Culture, Japanese prima ballerina Miyako Yoshida, Russian orchestra conducter, Valery Guerguiev, musician Manu Dibango of Cameroon, U.S.A. painter and writer N. Scott Momaday.
The exhibition on Croatian Sites Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will be opened by Mr Matsuura, Kresimir Filipec, Croatian deputy minister for culture in charge of heritage, and Neda Ritz, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Croatia, in the presence of, among others, Miljenko Damijan, head curator of the Croatian Republic and curator of the exhibition. The six mayors whose municipalities are home to UNESCO World Heritage sites will also attend the opening. Dubrovnik, Split, and the National Park of Plitvice were the first Croatian sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979, just one year after the creation of the List. The Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Porec and the Historic City of Trogir were inscribed in 1997. The Cathedral of Saint-Jakov was inscribed 2000.
During the ceremony, seven male singers, forming the Maestral klapa (choral ensemble) will perform traditional music of the Dalmatian music of the Adriatic coast of Croatia.
Journalists wishing to cover the ceremony should be accredited by the Bureau of Public Information, Press Relations Service, tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 ; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo © UNESCO/Michel Ravassard