President Gustavo Petro Attends Tribute Ceremony for Late Artist Fernando Botero at Bogota’s Primate Cathedral
President Gustavo Petro Urrego paid a visit to the Primate Cathedral of Bogota on Monday, September 25th, to participate in a religious ceremony honoring the late Colombian painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero, who passed away on September 15, 2023.
On a somber Monday, September 25, the Colombian head of state accompanied by several members of his cabinet, attended a religious ceremony at Bogotá’s Primada Cathedral. The service was held to honor the renowned Colombian painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero, who passed away on September 15, 2023. The tribute to the artist’s life and legacy began at 11 a.m. and was led by Monsignor Luis Jose Rueda, the Archbishop of the capital of Colombia.
The day’s proceedings started with Botero’s coffin being transported from the National Capitol in the Congress of the Republic. It was paraded through the streets by the presidential guard, Botero’s family, congress delegates, and other public figures, before finally reaching the Primada Cathedral. Following the mass, another ceremony was held at the Botero Museum, located in downtown Bogotá, further manifesting the high regard the nation held for the artist.
An Artist’s Impact Beyond the Canvas
Culture Minister Juan David Correa shared some thoughts about the late artist. He emphasized that Botero’s work transcended the material world, as his hands and gaze reinterpreted the world. According to him, the Colombian painter’s art wasn’t just about what was visible on the canvas, but also about the emotions and thoughts it evoked in the viewer.
President Petro was notably not present for the vigil at the Congress on Friday, September 22. This absence, as reported by his press team, was due to a meeting with the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda. The summit was a response to a car bomb attack near a police substation in Jamundí, Valle del Cauca, earlier that day. As a consequence of this incident, the head of state canceled his entire schedule, including his attendance at the P4G Summit and a meeting with the governors of various Colombian departments.
Continued Commemoration in Medellín
The commemoration of Botero’s life and work will continue in his hometown, Medellín, starting Tuesday, September 26. The public is invited to pay their respects at the Antioquia Museum, with activities starting at 8:30 a.m. in Botero Square. The event will include military honors, a para-liturgy, and remarks from representatives of the country’s cultural sector. Botero’s body will be on view in the Council Chamber until Thursday, September 28. The public will be allowed to enter the museum until 5 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. A mass will be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Medellín on Thursday, beginning at 11:30 a.m., as announced by the Government of Antioquia.
The iconic artist is celebrated for his unique style, known as ‘Boterismo’, which depicted people and objects in large, exaggerated volume. This style, which can represent political criticism or humor depending on the piece, made Botero the most recognized and quoted artist from Latin America. His artworks, exhibited globally, fetched millions of dollars at international auctions, and his significant donations to his home country further cemented his national esteem.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.