The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, expressed her deep sadness after the passing away of Ms Zaha Hadid, UNESCO Artist for Peace on Thursday, 31 March 2016.
“Zaha Hadid was a visionary architect and a great advocate for excellence in design and creativity. She was a role model for millions of girls and women interested in creation, willing to push forward the boundaries of art. She was also a bridge between cultures and a very committed UNESCO Artist for Peace for Intercultural Dialogue. I had the privilege to appoint her UNESCO Artist for peace in 2010 and I visited many of her buildings, from the MAXXI Museum in Rome, to the Heydar Cultural Centre in Baku. Each one of her creations is an enriching experience of space and soul, and will remain as her legacy to inspire future generations of thinkers and artists. On behalf of UNESCO and in my own name, I express my heartfelt sympathies to her family and colleagues.”
Born in Baghdad in 1950, Ms Hadid graduated in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before enrolling at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London (UK). A ground-breaking thinker and creator, Ms Hadid was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Her innovative buildings in Europe, Asia and America have been the center of passionate debate.