Mourning the loss of Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco, who passed away last Friday, February 19th, the Italian Ambassador, Ettore Sequi, announced the endowment of an annual award in order to honor his memory also here in China.
The decision was announced on Saturday, February 20th, during the annual meeting of the Chinese Italianists which took place at the
Italian Institute of Culture in Beijing.
“We are celebrating today the excellence of Italian language and culture, while Italy is mourning the loss of one of the most well-known intellectuals” the Ambassador said. “Both the Embassy and the Institute of Culture will be committed to promote a memorial event and an award that will be given in his honor, in order to preserve and to celebrate his important legacy” he added then.
Umberto Eco is particularly well-known and esteemed in China, thanks mainly to the translation of his books into the local language. His novel “The cemetery of Prague” will be published in Chinese soon. “The Italianists wish to commemorate the author according to the Chinese tradition: they will burn one page of the book hoping he will receive it ‘through the wind’, since unfortunately he will not be able to see it published” said the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Beijing, Stefania Stafutti.