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Press Release


  July 29, 2003

Noting that promoting cultural values is a priority of the inter-American system, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), César Gaviria, opened an exhibition of carved stone sculptures by master artist Wan Ko Yee.

“During the last fifty years, the OAS has recognized the need to associate culture with development and the well-being of our peoples, and also the importance of demonstrating how powerful symbols of identities and beliefs can become a unifying factor for national and universal reconciliation,” Gaviria said. Diplomats from OAS member states and other dignitaries were among those who attended the opening reception, held the evening of July 28 at the Washington Marriott.

In his remarks, Gaviria praised the “pioneering” artistic work of the Buddhist artist and recognized him for championing charitable causes and humanitarian assistance programs in several Caribbean nations.

Grenada’s Ambassador to the OAS, Denis Antoine, said the artist had donated computers to needy schoolchildren in his country and supported other worthy projects. He said the Organization’s participation in the event underscored the importance of “cultural balance and tolerance for diversity in a global environment.”

Master Wan Ko Yee was born in China and now lives in the United States. His Yun sculptures are made of enormous boulders, hollowed out and carved to create a landscape shrouded in mist.

Reference: E-143/03