Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola named UNESCO Artist for Peace

Editorial Contact: Press Relations Section, tel 33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 – Email

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03-01-2005 5:00 pm

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will name the internationally renowned painter, Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, UNESCO Artist for Peace, in a ceremony at Organization Headquarters on January 7 (12.30 p.m.).

Countess Klossowska de Rola is being named Artist for Peace “for her role in promoting the World Heritage Education Project”, which was launched by UNESCO in 2004, to raise the awareness of students and teachers worldwide of the need to preserve world heritage. She was also the Cultural Patron of the 2002 Venice Congress marking the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

“I fully support UNESCO’s work in education for youth,” said Countess Setsuko in her address to the Venice Congress. “It is fundamental to transmit heritage values to children when they are very young, by means of sensations and emotions. Everything that we see, everything that we feel in childhood, becomes a part of ourselves when we grow up with this treasure.”

Closely involved with UNESCO’s work, Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola was a member of the Jury of the Mondialogo School Contest, launched by DaimlerChrysler and UNESCO last year to promote inter-cultural dialogue, exchange, respect and tolerance.

Born in Tokyo, where she studied at Sophia University, Countess Setsuko is a painter of renown whose work has been shown in, among other places, Rome, New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. Widow of French painter Balthus (1908-2001), she is the Honorary President of the Balthus Foundation.

UNESCO Artists for Peace are personalities who use their influence, charisma and celebrity to help promote UNESCO’s message. Other celebrated UNESCO Artists for Peace include: singer Gilberto Gil, who is Minister of Culture of Brazil, Russian orchestra conductor, Valery Gergiev, musician Manu Dibango of Cameroon, U.S. painter and writer N. Scott Momaday, and Croatian actor Relja Bašić.

Journalists wishing to cover the ceremony must register with the Press Relations Section, tel 33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 ; e-mail : i.le-fournis@unesco.org

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