Anniversaries 2017 -

  • 2017 Iran (Islamic Republic of)

    700th anniversary of authoring the book of Golshan-e Raz by Sheikh Mahmūd Shabestarī (1317) (with the support of Azerbaijan) (2017)

    Golshan-e Raz (The Secret Rose Garden) was written in response to 17 queries concerning human growth and elevation. It seeks to promote ethical concepts, the notion of the balance between the spirit and the body, moderation and prevention of prejudice and violence, environmental conservation as well as global ethical standards.
    Sheikh Mahmoud Shabestari is one of the most celebrated Iranian Sufi poets. His works were primarily in the area of education and promoting ethical and mystical concepts to combat ignorance, prejudice and violence. He is a pioneering figure in promoting dialogue through poetry; the basis on which his most famous work, a mystic text called Golshan-e Raz was written in rhyming couplets (Mathnawi).
    The global importance of Golshan-e Raz is such that to this date more than 40 descriptions and explanations are written about it. The book is translated into five languages: English, French, German, Turkish and Urdu. The influential message of Sheikh Shabestari to the world, 700 years back, is respect for the environment and the beauties of creation, where he recommends the necessity to preserve God’s creations.

  • 2017 Lithuania

    100th anniversary of the birth of Algirdas Julius Greimas, linguist (1917-1992) (with the support of Estonia, France and Mexico) (2017)

    Greimas is an important academic figure in a field (semiotics) that is of intellectual significance for UNESCO’s activities in so far as it bears on the social construction of culture (or equivalently the cultural construction of society). The celebration of his centenary will involve events of considerable international stature and are likely to have significant academic visibility. The celebration by UNESCO of such an anniversary is entirely consistent with the established tradition of recognizing major figures in specific academic disciplines.

  • 2017 Montenegro

    50th anniversary of the death of Milo Milunović, painter (1897-1967) (with the support of Croatia, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) (2017)

    Milo Milunović (1897-1967) was educated in Cetinje, Skadar, Monza, Florence and Paris.
    After the Second World War he founded the Art School in Cetinje together with the painter Petar Lubarda. He received the title of “meister” and opened a workshop, while his pictures took on an expressionist tone. He was regular member of the Scientific Association of Montenegro. He returned to Belgrade in 1949.
    He participated in numerous national and international group exhibitions. He was a member of the SANU – Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, awarded with the medal of the Legion of Honora. He won the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1936, the award July 7th of the Federal Republic of Serbia in 1961, and much other recognition.
    Milo Milunović is one of the first Montenegrin painters, whose works pertain to the most valued and valuable part of our cultural heritage. They are based on the respect for European classical painting, and on the forms of expression of modernism, yet it is impossible to ignore the fact that he had extremely unique solutions for contemplating the modernist principle of the autonomy of the painted worlds in their structural and psycho-symbolic determinants.
    In general, his impact is two-fold: on the one hand, though collaborations with international artists and his numerous international exhibitions, Milunovic’s art presented the Montenegrin and then-Yugoslav contemporary creativity to the world, as a window to this historically and culturally important, yet small land. On the other, his work as an artist and pedagogue opened the doors of the European modernist movement for the younger generations of professional and aspiring artists.

  • 2017 Oman

    150th anniversary of the birth of Abdullah bin Humaid Al Salmi, social reformer and encyclopedic scientist (1867-1914) (with the support of Lebanon and Egypt) (2017)

    Abdullah bin Humaid Al Salmi was born in Oman in 1867. He studied in Oman and since his early age he became culturally prominent. With his perseverance in education, writing and reconciliation among people, he had a wide religious, educational and social influence from Oman to Iraq and Iran and even to the Zanzibar Island (United Republic of Tanzania) in the east of Africa.
    He spent all his life in education, writing and reconciliation among people, thus he became very known and able of peaceful intervention to solve social problems simply with his spiritual and moral power.
    He is the author of several works in religious reform, philosophy and literature, of which several are published. His works show that he is considered an enlightened intellectual in his time.

  • 2017 Poland

    200th anniversary of the death of Tadeusz Kościuszko, political leader (1746-1817) (with the support of Lithuania, Switzerland and the Kosciuszko Foundation: The American Center of Polish Culture) (2017)

    Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1817) lived at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. In recognition of his activity for the sake of peace, independence and democracy – the equality of people regardless of their skin colour or religion – he is considered a national hero in Poland and in the United States. He emphasized the role of both practical and citizen education, so that men and women who regained freedom should be aware of their rights, but also their duties with respect to the freedom and welfare of others.
    In Poland, he fought for the freedom and equality of all citizens: peasants, who had to work as slave-like serfs, Jews who were a religious minority, women, who had fewer rights than men, and other people who were not treated equally. He emphasized the importance and role of women in the society Kościuszko, which at that time was a very cutting-edge approach. He was a precursor of the development of national awareness in its modern sense, encompassing all social strata and groups. In his fight for freedom and independence, he favoured peaceful solutions.
    In acknowledgement of his activity for the sake of independence, peace and equality for all, Kościuszko is a national hero in Poland and the United States, and an honorary citizen of the French Republic. It is worth emphasizing that all views and ideas which he advocated remain relevant and important today.

  • 2017 Poland

    100th anniversary of the death of Ludwik Zamenhof, physician and linguist (1859-1917) (with the support of Germany and Slovakia) (2017)

    Born inside the multinational community of the city of Białystok, L. Zamenhof (1859-1917) created the first version of his Lingwe Uniwersala already at a young age. In 1885 Zamenhof decisively finished his project of the international language as we know it today. In 1887 he published a textbook in Russian: “The international tongue – Preface and complete method”, under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto. The pseudonym means “The Doctor who hopes” and has caught on as the name of the language. In the same year the textbook was published in Polish, French, German and English.
    The first Esperanto clubs started to come into being, and the advantages of the language were recognized by linguists too. In 1905 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, the first World Congress of Esperanto took place. While staying in France, Zamenhof was decorated with the National Order of the Legion of Honour. In 1906 Zamenhof published humanitism (homaranismo), which is the idea of the union of all the nations communicating in a common language.
    The Esperanto movement he initiated has spread all over the world, while the creator released all his rights, liberating Esperanto for every human’s use. The work of L. Zamenhof is known worldwide reaching over 120 countries. The idea of a common language has fascinated many people and lots of them made similar attempts at creating one, but Zamenhof’s case is the only one to have achieved world success.

  • 2017 Romania

    100th anniversary of the death of Titu Maiorescu, literary critic and politician (1840-1917) (with the support of Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova) (2017)

    Titu Liviu Maiorescu (1840-1917) was a Romanian academician, lawyer, literary critic, essayist, aesthetician, philosopher, educator, politician and writer, and ex-Prime Minister of Romania.
    He graduated the Theresianum Academy, and after an academic year in Berlin he obtained Ph.D. from the Giessen University. In 1861 he published in Berlin the Einiges Philosophisches in gemeinfasslicher Form, and based on that study he received the “concese titlul de licence es lettres” from the Sorbonne University, as well also the Ph.D. title. In the second half of the twentieth century, the name of Maiorescu binds an entire cultural movement, which imposed harmony between intuition and concept, which is the fundamental Kantian condition of the consciousness' progress.
    The impressive culture and the variety of concerns, through serious and imperturbable temper, Maiorescu is the undisputed mentor of the entire movements for aesthetic education in the European culture. In all of its activities, Maiorescu acted as aesthetician, promoting strong aesthetic principles for the development of literature in a cultural context. His intellectual configuration conforms to classical models by balanced judgments, by formulating strong opinions, played briefly through a concentrated expression.

  • 2017 Russian Federation

    200th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Aivazovsky, painter (1817-1900) (joint nomination by Armenia and the Russian Federation, with the support of Italy) (2017)

    Ivan Aivazovsky (Hovhannes Aivazian) is considered one of the greatest marine artists in history. Having Armenian origins and education in the Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg as well as several years’ experience of studying in Europe, Aivazovsky influenced Russian, Armenian and world Art. During his sixty-year career, Aivazovsky produced around 6,000 paintings. He is best known for his paintings of seascapes and coastal scenes, which are symbolic and allegoric. Depicting waves, clouds and airspace the painter emphasized the light, which is the interpretation of the light of the creation. He also created a number of works about important events of Bible and Armenian history as well as works depicting oriental scenes and portraitures. Aivazovsky held an unprecedented number of individual exhibitions and contributed to a number of exhibitions in Russia, Europe and the United States.
    The celebration of the anniversary will support UNESCO’s objectives of strengthening intercultural dialogue for the rapprochement of cultures, promoting of heritage and fostering creativity, as well as disseminating and exchanging information from local to global level.

  • 2017 Slovakia

    200th anniversary of the birth of Jozef Miloslav Hurban, writer and philosopher (1817-1888) (with the support of the Czech Republic and Poland) (2017)

    Jozef Miloslav Hurban was an important organizer of the Slovak national movement and cultural life in the 19th century. He laid the groundwork for modern civilization in Slovakia and supported the interests of the people in their culture, language and place within Slavic cultures.

  • 2017 Slovakia

    350th anniversary of the birth of Ján Kupecký, painter (1667-1740) (with the support of the Czech Republic and Poland) (2017)

    Ján Kupecký is a prominent representative of Baroque painting who at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries set the tone for portrait painting in Central Europe. In his younger years he worked in Rome, where he learned from the artwork of Italian masters (Rafael, Titian, Michelangelo, Correggio); stood out there as a portraitist inclining to Rembrandt-like chiaroscuro, purposefully decomposed light and distinctive drawing. Later, he worked in Vienna and then Nuremberg, where he died. His Italian inclinations to depict the lives of the common people and beggars culminated during his stay in Nuremberg. This indicated his deviation from baroque church themes and official pomposity; he portrayed burgers and people on the margins of society with psychological depth, detailed elaboration and shades of colours. He also did portraits of significant figures of Nuremberg and its vicinity.