Human Interest

Fernando Botero’s body arrives in Colombia for week of tributes

Bogota, Sep 21 (EFE).- The coffin of Colombian artist Fernando Botero, who died in Monaco at 91, arrived Thursday night in Bogota where, starting tomorrow, tributes will be paid to him for three days that will continue Monday until Sept. 28 in his native Medellin.

His children Fernando, Lina and Juan Carlos Botero Zea accompanied him on the flight from Paris to Bogota, where Colombian Culture Minister Juan David Correa waiting for them at the airport and announced that the National Capitol would be open to the public for three days for people to pay tributes.

After the required procedures, a hearse transported the coffin to a funeral home where it will remain until Friday, when it will be taken to the Elliptical Hall of the Capitol where the first official tributes will be paid.

Fernando Botero Angulo was born in Medellin on Apr. 19, 1932 and is recognized as the most universal Colombian artist for his figurative style, developed through the soft forms of his voluminous figures.

In the Capitol, whose facade is adorned with banners with the artist’s image, the coffin will be received Friday by Congress President Ivan Name, and by an honor guard of congressmen, according to the Senate News.

Botero’s body will be transferred Monday to the Primada Cathedral, in the Plaza de Bolívar, for a mass attended by Colombian President Gustavo Petro and other authorities of the country.

The coffin will then be taken to the Botero Museum, created in 2000 with the donation he made to the Bank of the Republic of 123 works of his authorship and 85 by international artists, among them Picasso, Renoir, Monet and Dali, to another tribute.

“On Monday, at two in the afternoon, we will do a small baroque chamber concert at the Botero Museum, which is the symbol of his generosity, his loyalty, his love for our country. That collection that he gave to Colombia is a collection few artists have donated to their respective countries and this is a gesture of gratitude,” the minister added.

The coffin will be taken Monday to Medellin, where it will remain in the burning chamber at the Museum of Antioquia, which houses the largest Botero collection in the world.

Then another mass will be celebrated in his memory at the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Medellin, before taking him to the Italian town of Pietrasanta where he will be buried next to his wife, Greek artist Sophia Vari, who died in May. EFE


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