Anniversaries 2016 -
350th anniversary of the first printed Bible in Armenian (Amsterdam, 1666) (with the support of France and Netherlands) (2016)
For the first time, the Bible was printed in Armenian in Amsterdam in 1666 by Voskan Yerevantsi, with illustrations and decorations by Christoffel van Sichem (1546-1624). It includes an alphabetical glossary of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words and names occurring in the Bible. This edition was printed from a single manuscript dated 1295 A.D., adjusted in places to the Latin Vulgate. Printing the Bible in Armenian was a tremendous event for the Armenians, enabling generations of Armenians to continue reading, exploring and becoming familiar with Christianity and Christian values through Armenian language.
The jubilee celebration of this event, having a relation to 500th anniversary of Armenian book printing, is the vivid expression of the maintenance of printing traditions of the world cultural heritage, and, therefore, it will contribute to the UNESCO's mission of protecting and promoting cultural heritage.
200th anniversary of German settlements in the South Caucasus Region (Migration of the Schwab Germans to Azerbaijan and Georgia) (Azerbaijan and Georgia, with the support of Germany) (2016)
Beyond the celebration of German settlers in Azerbaijan and Georgia, this anniversary outlines a relevant aspect of the encounter among peoples from different cultural and religious backgrounds and the interaction that emerged, that will be celebrated with commemoration events in Azerbaijan, Georgia and in Germany. In the context of globalized and increasingly diverse societies with growing challenges to peaceful coexistence, this celebration carries a strong message of openness to the Other, of tolerance and respect of diversity and difference. It will particularly contribute to promoting intercultural and interreligious dialogue for better mutual understanding and peace, echoing in this regard the objectives of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), for which UNESCO is the lead United Nations agency.
1100th anniversary of the death of Clement of Ohrid (830-916) (joint nomination by Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with the support of Poland and the Russian Federation) (2016)
Clement (830s-916) was one of the closest associates of Cyril and Methodius, creators of the first Slavic alphabet, and he assisted them in the translations of texts from Greek to Slavic. He is the author of the Long Life of St. Cyril, written between 869 and 885, the main source of information about this distinguished person whose work has changed the European written culture in the ninth century.
After the death of Methodius in 885, Clement assumed the leadership among his disciples and associates and actively defended the use of the Slavic writing system and liturgy. He was ordained into episcope of Velica, and becomes the first episcope amongst the eastern Slavic population.
Clement is the author of more than a hundred original sermons and hymnody. The main source of data about Methodius was written by Clement. He dedicated his life and work to the spreading of the Slavic script, education and written culture in the first literary Slavic language. Clement’s life and work are associated with many European countries and has a huge impact on the written culture and their own languages.
The most important sources about him were written by the Orhid archbishops and the zografs who painted churches in Ohrid and within the frames of the Ohrid archbishopric between the eleventh and fourteenth century, as well as later until the beginning of the twentieth century.
Thus Clement of Ohrid is one of the most significant figures in the European cultural, religious and public history of the late ninth and early tenth century.
He died and was buried in his church in Ohrid at St. Panteleimon on Plaosnik.
Taking into account extraordinary role of Clement and its contribution to educational and cultural development of Balkans and Europe, UNESCO recommends the celebration of this anniversary.
150th anniversary of the birth of Pencho Petkov Slaveykov, writer (1866-1912) (with the support of Italy and Germany) (2016)
Pencho Slaveykov was born in 1886 in Tryavna and passed away in Brunate, Italy in 1912. He was the son of the great Bulgarian enlightener and political activist Petko Slaveykov. From 1892 to 1898 he studied philosophy in Germany. During that period he contributed to the Bulgarian literary magazines with both original works and translations/St. Kliment Library, Bulgarian Collection, Thought/. He published his own literary collections that were designed to be models for epic poetry/Epic Songs, 1896, 1907; Yearnings, 1898/and lyrical poetry/A Dream of Happiness, 1906/.
The activities and the personality of Pencho Slaveykov are a valuable asset in the endeavours to present Bulgarian culture to the European community while his literary work is firmly related to the processes of Europeanization and modernization of Bulgarian culture.
The work of P. Slaveykov is foundational for Bulgarian literature. The founding of the Thought Literary Circle, where Slaveykov participated actively, marked the start of the age of modernism in Bulgaria. The publications of Thought Magazine represented the cutting edge philosophical and aesthetical conceptions of authors like Nietzsche, Wundt, Schopenhauer, Volkelt; the artistic views of Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, Rilke, Goethe, Gorki, and Chekhov.
In his capacity as headmaster of the National Library and the National Theatre, P. Slaveykov made significant changes in bringing the activities of these institutions up to date.
Taking into account extraordinary contribution of Pencho Slaveykov to Bulgarian and European literature, it would be advisable to provide UNESCO association to this anniversary.
150th anniversary of the birth of Lev Samoylovich Rosenberg, known as Léon Bakst, artist, theatre designer, decorator (1886-1924) (with the support of the Russian Federation) (2016)
Born in Belarus in 1866, Leon Bakst made a valuable contribution to world culture development as a pioneer and innovator of new scenography trends and visual arts. He produced scenery and costumes for Hermitage and “Alexandrinsky” Theatres (Russia) performances, worked as scene-painter for Diaghilev with the Ballets Russes (France); he used to work in theatres in America and in France (Grand Opera, “Michelle”, Ida Rubinstein's theatre) where his works always were creating a sensation. Leon Bakst greatly contributed to the development of Theatre Art. His works and creations, including bright scenery, luxurious costumes and decorations for ballet performances, proved that scenography is a self-sufficient kind of visual arts. Moreover, together with Benua and Sergey Diagilev he co-founded the influential World of Art (“Mir Iskusstva”) group in 1898, and was largely responsible for the technical excellence of its influential magazine.
100th anniversary of the publication of the book The Black Slaves by Fernando Ortiz Fernández (1916) (with the support of Nicaragua and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) (2016)
The book The black slaves is one of the first works that opens up in the American continent the studies Afro-Americans related with the history of the transatlantic slavery, the juridical, psychological, ethical, economic and social implications. It also represents an overwhelming allegation against racism and racial discrimination.
Fernando Ortiz (1881-1969) was an anthropologist, essayist, and philologist who pioneered in the study of neo-African cultures in the Americas, particularly in Cuba.
Ortiz’s work was influential in the emergence of the Afro-Cuban movement, a trend in the arts – particularly in music, dance, and literature – that incorporated and celebrated the African component of Cuban culture.
The Fernando Ortiz Foundation, created in 1995 to continue the study of the life and this author’s work, intends to reissue the book in the context of the International Decade of Afro-descends People, like part of the activities of the Cuban Committee of the UNESCO Project the Slave's Route: resistance, liberty and heritage.
200th anniversary of the birth of Francisco de Albear y Fernández de Lara, engineer and scientist (1816-1887) (with the support of Nicaragua and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) (2016)
The engineering works of de Lara, the construction of a water supply system for the capital city, that in memory of its creator was named later on as Albear Aqueduct of Havana (Acueducto Albear de La Habana), influences the western territory, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Havana, Isla de Pinos. There is also the celebration of Cuba Engineering Day which is a great occasion to increase the visibility of engineering and its role in sustainable development and to encourage students to study engineering by supplementing STEM curriculum with practical engineering applications.
700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV of Luxembourg, patron of education, art and economic development (1316-1378) (with the support of Luxembourg, Poland and Slovakia) (2016)
Charles IV (born May 14, 1316, Prague – died Nov. 29, 1378, Prague), German king and king of Bohemia (as Charles) from 1346 to 1378 and Holy Roman emperor from 1355 to 1378, was one of the most learned and diplomatically skilful sovereigns of his time. He gained more through diplomacy than others did by war, and through purchases, marriages, and inheritance he enlarged his dynastic power. Under Charles’s rule Prague became the political, economic, and cultural centre – and eventually the capital – of the Holy Roman Empire. Indeed, from his reign until the 18th century it was understood that the German imperial crown was based on the crown of the king of Bohemia.
The proposed anniversary concerns a personality of extremely high significance for the cultural and political evolution of the Czech Republic and of Europe in general, whose action has left a very important legacy in the fields of arts and culture, education, law, etc. The proposal is therefore positively evaluated.
300th anniversary of the death of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, mathematician and philosopher (1646-1716) (with the support of Poland and Switzerland) (2016)
Gottfried Leibniz is one of the most influential mathematicians of all times - a true polymath who decisively contributed to the advance of basic sciences during the Renaissance. One of his most important breakthroughs (concomitantly with Isaac Newton) differential and integral calculus is used until today. As an inventor, he also did invaluable contributions in the development of the calculating machine, including the ability to multiply, divide, and even extract roots. The celebration of the 350th anniversary of Leibniz, consistently considered the most important mathematician from the Ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, is completely in line with the work of UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) and will greatly contribute to the objectives of UNESCO in terms of basic sciences outreach among the public.
400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, writer (1547-1616) (with the support of Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Portugal and Uruguay) (2016)
Miguel de Cervantes is considered almost unanimously to be the most important writer in the history of Spanish literature. He belonged to the Spanish Golden Age, which essentially corresponds with the Spanish Baroque period; he thus stands out among other geniuses such as Francisco de Quevedo and Lope de Vega. Cervantes cultivated all genres: poetry, theatre and fiction, and passed into universal history thanks to his magnum opus: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, a founding work of modern literature.
His masterpiece, Don Quixote, was universally transcendent. Published in 1605, it immediately met with great success and has been translated into practically every language. As a result, its influence on later literature and authors of every period has steadily increased, spreading from literature to universal culture, through music, painting, sculpture and film.