The Russian Academy Of Arts

Zurab Tsereteli was presented with UNESCO Picasso Gold Medal

09.05.2007 - 09.05.2007

PARIS. May 9,2007 - RIA Novosti, Yulia Gorbyleva.

The UNESCO Picasso Gold Medal was presented on Wednesday to the celebrated Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli for his remarkable personal contribution to development of the Russian Academy of Arts which is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. The ceremony was attended by members of the Academy presidium, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, Russian diplomats.

“Zurab Tsereteli, who has been the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1996, through his art promotes ideals of peace and cooperation. Today, UNESCO is pleased to accept a small part of Tsereteli’s works of art. I would like to thank Mr. Tsereteli,  President of the Russian Academy of Arts, for his multi-sided cultural activity and I have the pleasure to present him with Picasso Gold Medal – symbol of peace and creative freedom. I want you to consider this Medal as the UNESCO appreciation and support of your activity”, - noted Mr. Matsuura.

The Director-General also stressed the importance and symbolism of holding the ceremony on the Victory Day marked in Russia on May 9th . “This gives us an opportunity to confirm our mutual adherence to common human values – peace and tolerance” – added Mr. Matsuura.

For his part, Tsereteli thanked the UNESCO Director-General for the arrangement of his solo exhibition that was inaugurated later at 7 pm.

“I want to thank you for the possibility to exhibit my works in the UNESCO Headquarters. I have never thought that the UNESCO Picasso Gold medal will be awarded to me”.

On display are the artist’s paintings, works in the unique serigraphy technique, enamels. One can also see a few sculptures. In particular, the bronze figure of Charlie Chaplin created by Tsereteli in 2007 opens the exposition.   
In December, 2006 a square in the town of Ploermel (Bretagne, France) was named after Zurab Tsereteli. The Russian sculptor has also become an Honorary Citizen of the town of Ploermel after he donated to this town in the north-west of France his bronze statue to Pope John Paul 11.

The Picasso Medal was struck in 1981 to celebrate the birth centenary of the great Spanish artist. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the filed of art. The Medal was designed by another celebrated Spanish artist Joan Miro, Picasso’s friend and compatriot, who donated the medal’s original drawing to UNESCO.



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