Photo: Lily Marinho Goodwill Ambassador
The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has expressed her sadness at the news of the death of the Brazilian Goodwill Ambassador to the Organization and patron of the arts, Lily Marinho, on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro. She was aged 89.
“Our Organization has lost a long-standing ally and a very close friend. Lily Marinho was deeply committed to education and culture, working to bring together people of all ages, nationalities and social backgrounds. Everything she did to promote cultures and bring them closer was marked by her profound conviction that the beautiful and the good go together. This won her the distinction of being the first Brazilian woman to become a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador,” said Irina Bokova.
Lily Marinho was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for peace and non-violence in 1999. The widow of Brazilian press magnate and founder of the Globo group, Roberto Marinho, she always defended the rights of street children and offered financial support to provide those in the greatest need with somewhere to live, with medical care, food and schooling.
An art-lover, she also provided financial support for many art exhibitions and theatre productions. It was thanks to her that several major exhibitions in Brazil were made possible, including those of Rodin, Picasso, Camille Claudel and Monet.