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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
05-10-2004 6:00 pm The President of Albania, Alfred Moisiu, will visit UNESCO, on Thursday October 7. On this occasion, alongside UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, he will open the exhibition “Colours and impressions of Albania: from icons to contemporary painting”.

During their talks, the President and the Director-General will discuss reinforcing cooperation between Albania and UNESCO as well as the official visit of Mr Matsuura to Albania in December. They will also take stock of cooperation among the countries of the Southeast of Europe, as well as preparation for the Regional Forum on the Development of Interethnic and Inter-religious Dialogue, which will take place in Tirana, the capital of Albania, on December 9 and 10.

The Forum, organized by Alfred Moisiu and Mr Matsuura, will bring together heads of state and experts of the Southeast of Europe as well as representatives of regional and international organizations. It is being held in the wake of the Ohrid Forum for Dialogue Among Civlizations, which, in August 2003, brought together for the first time eight heads of state from the region.

At 6 p.m., President Moisiu and Mr Matsuura will inaugurate an exhibition of Albanian cultural treasures from the Middle Ages to the present. Seven icons (dating from the 13th to 18th centuries) and 33 paintings of the last two centuries will be on show at UNESCO until October 15, Miro Room).

Albanian modern art history can be divided into three periods: the first (from the second half of the 19th centuries to the 1940s.), known as the “Albanian Renaissance”, is marked by the absence of theological or ideological constraints; the second period (from the 1950sto the 90s) is one of “committed art” at the service of communist ideology; the last, contemporary, period, marks the return of artistic freedom.

A former resistance fighter (1943-1945), Alfred Moisiu was elected president in 2002, at the age of 72. Over the previous five years, he headed the Albanian Atlantic Association (linked to NATO) after having served as deputy Minister of Defence in the early 1990s.

Journalists wishing to cover the visit must be accredited by the Press Relations Section

Tel 01 45 68 17 48 /fax 01 45 68 56 52

Photo © UNESCO/Michel Ravassard

Source Media advisory No 2004 - 66


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