In October 1997, Federico Mayor, director general of UNESCO, honored Miguel Angel Corzo, director of the Getty Conservation Institute, with a UNESCO Medal in recognition of Mr. Corzo's distinguished career devoted to the arts and culture.
Previous recipients of this award include Nelson Mandela, King Juan Carlos of Spain, musician Lord Yehudi Menuhin, and Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic. Mr. Corzo received the medal at UNESCO headquarters in Paris during the opening of UNESCO's General Assembly, which brings together ministers of culture and distinguished personalities in the arts and humanities from member states.
"The Medal for Patrons of the Arts is awarded in recognition of Miguel Angel Corzo's lifelong international activities on behalf of the arts," commented Mr. Mayor, "and the success he has met in the diffusion, preservation, and conservation of the world's cultural heritage."
"There is a long tradition of giving awards for heroism and for athletic and scientific achievement," observed Mr. Corzo. "This is an award for the arts and for preserving cultural heritage. I am honored to receive this medal and pleased that it will help raise awareness of the urgent global need for cultural heritage conservation."
Mr. Corzo has been director of the GCI since 1991. Prior to his appointment, he served as president and chief executive officer of the Friends of the Arts of Mexico Foundation. His career has encompassed university and government service, including the position of dean for academic affairs at the Universidad Autnoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and several posts in Mexico's federal government, among them undersecretary of tourism. He has served on national and international educational and social boards and as an advisor to UNESCO. In 1995 Mr. Corzo was appointed by President Clinton to serve on his Cultural Property Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the U.S. president on the application of UNESCO's 1970 convention dealing with illicit traffic of cultural property.