Simon Bolivar and Europe


‘The exhibition about “Simon Bolivar and Europe” has been realised by the EEC to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the Latin American hero, who spent some fundamental years of his life in the old continent. It comprises of 135 panels of photos and texts which document the different phases and stops of Bolivar’s stay in Europe in the course of three successive trips taken in 1799-1802, in 1803-1806 and in 1810. Overall this material is little known and therefore precious to put together the traits of the formation of the “libertador” (as he was called in his country). Simon Bolivar does not seem to be comfortable in these shoes. He had a very complex personality, aware of the thirst for freedom of Latin American peoples, as well as of their cultures, traditions and peculiarities. He was also aware of the appeal exerted by European culture, which he came to know closely thanks to the trips described in the exhibition. Once in Europe, Bolivar attended salons, was exposed to new ideas, met important people from the cultural and political world (including Napoleon). A stimulating itinerary which had a great impact on his formation (see the famous vow he took on top of the Monte Sacro in Rome, to free his country from Spanish dominion). Thinking of his peoples which “so-lo esperan la libertad” (only hope freedom), he dreamt to “formar de la América en pocos anos otra Europa” (turn America into another Europe in a few years). To those who depict him only as a bloody libertador, Bolivar opposes – even though with little luck – the geniality of a Hypothesis: the unity of peoples and regions in which “ciencias, artes, industria e cultura” (science, art, work and culture) represent “las grandes prosperidades a que està destinada la América meridional” (the great prosperities to which South America is destined).’


25 Agosto 1984 - 09 Gennaio 1984


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