United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Iceland donates painting as a symbol of its friendship and support for UNESCO

In a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 26 September, Director-General Mr Koďchiro Matsuura joined Iceland’s Minister of Education, Science and Culture Mrs Thorgerdur Gunnarsdottir for the presentation of a striking contemporary work of art donated in the name of the Government and people of Iceland as a symbol of the country’s appreciation for and partnership with the Organization.

Also present were the artist, Erro, and Iceland’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Mr Tómas Ingi Olrich.

“Iceland’s donation of this painting is not only an expression of its friendship and support for UNESCO. It is also a tangible demonstration of its commitment to some of our top priorities: encouraging dialogue and mutual understanding among different cultures; promoting creativity; and safeguarding cultural diversity,” stated Mr Matsuura in accepting the painting into the UNESCO Works of Art collection.*

The Director-General also thanked Minister Gunnarsdottir for Iceland’s “vital support for teacher training and literacy under [UNESCO’s] capacity building programmes for Education for All, which is the priority of priorities as we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.”

Of the artist, Erro, Mr Matsuura said that “his works are truly universal in scope. This work in particular, based on the Nordic God, Thor, and populated by mythological, historical, religious and political references depicted through contemporary iconography, is an apt expression of the complexity of our fast changing world. We are pleased and proud to include it in our permanent collection.”


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* The painting is on display at UNESCO Headquarters, in front of Room I.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 126-2008 -  Publication Date: 30-09-2008

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