Italian Poet and Writer Maria Francesca Merloni Appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities


Thursday 5 October 2017

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, designated the Italian poet and writer Maria Francesca Merloni as the first ever Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities on Wednesday 4 October 2017 at a ceremony held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.   

Maria Francesca Merloni is among the freest poetic voices of our times; her work is based on a multi-disciplinary approach to artistic expression. Ms Merloni has been appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of her commitment to promoting the role of culture and creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Ms Merloni has been involved in several initiatives for culture-centered urban regeneration. Since 2013, she leads the designation of her home city, Fabriano (Italy) as a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art.  She is also a driver of the Rinasco project for the reconstruction of the Appennine area that was struck by two earthquakes in 2016.  The project aims to create a digital platform of the damaged town of San Ginesio, and support reconstruction, social welfare, and social and cultural recovery and entrepreneurship. Through a strong engagement with the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), Ms Merloni has demonstrated her dedication to the ideals and objectives of the Organization towards building more sustainable cities and a better future for all.

Ms Merloni celebrates creativity as a force for urban regeneration and resilience. An artist with a truly innovative vision, she has always combined her art with a universal approach. Culture is what unites us, it is the language of humanism and human dignity – this is value that we all share.” said Irina Bokova. 

At the ceremony, Ms Merloni became the first Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities, and reaffirmed, through an inspiring poem, her commitment to advocate the values and mission of the UCCN, a platform for cooperation with and among cities that place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans.

Being Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities is about becoming the keeper of the cities’ deep heart.” declared Maria Francesca Merloni.  

The ceremony took place in the presence of Mr Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism of Italy, Ms Vincenza Lomonaco, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO, Mr Gabriele Santarelli, Mayor of Fabriano, and members of the Merloni Family.

The work of Maria Francesca Merloni has also been instrumental in the selection of  Fabriano as host of the XIIIth Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2019.