UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, paid tribute to Pierre Bergé, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, who passed away in Paris on 8 September 2017.
“Pierre Bergé was at the forefront of UNESCO’s fight to support cultural freedom and free thought. He helped to shape French literary and artistic life for half a century, from Bernard Buffet to Yves Saint Laurent. A mentor, and a generous sponsor, he was a committed activist against gender discrimination, and a leading figure in the fight against AIDS, whose work was decisive for UNESCO’s action in this field. His commitment to the protection of intangible heritage was also decisive in support of several conferences and cultural projects, including in France and across Africa. His passing is an immense loss for UNESCO and I extend my sincere condolences to all his relatives.”
The French businessman and humanist Pierre Bergé was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on 8 September, 1992, 25 years ago to the day. Pierre Bergé is a co-founder of the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture house. He was a generous sponsor who financed and supported many cultural projects. Engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, he chaired the association “Together against AIDS”. He was passionate about Berber art and eager to promote it, opening in 2011 the Berber Museum at Majorelle Garden (Morocco).