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Rafael Tovar y de Teresa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rafael Tovar y de Teresa (Mexico City, Mexico, April 6, 1954 – ibid, December 10, 2016) was a Mexican diplomat, lawyer, scholar and historian. First Secretary of Culture of Mexico in the president's cabinet of Enrique Peña Nieto (2015), he was Mexican ambassador to Italy between 2001 and 2007; He was the second president of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), a position he held on three separate occasions until this organization became the Secretariat of Culture. He was also president of the 'Organizing Committee for the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the start of the National Independence movement and the Centenary of the start of the Mexican Revolution' between September 2007 and October 2008.

Biographical data

He was born in Mexico City on April 6, 1954. He was the son of Rafael Tovar y Villa Gordoa and Isabel de Teresa y Wiechers. His brothers are Isabel, Lorenza, Gabriela, Guillermo, Fernando and Josefina.

He got a law degree from the Metropolitan Autonomous University, generation 1974–1978, and he continued his studies at the Sorbonne University and at the School of Political Science in Paris.[1]

He began workinga as music critic of the cultural supplement of the Mexican newspaper Novedades, from 1972 to 1973. He was head of Cultural Relations of the Ministry of Finance, from 1974 to 1976,[2] and subsequently advisor to the director general of National Institute of Fine Arts, from 1976 to 1978.[3]

In 1979 he joined the Mexican Foreign Service, where he was head of the General Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs from 1979 to 1982, then minister at the Mexican Embassy in France (1983 to 1987) and advisor to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1987 to 1988).

He served as Legal Affairs Coordinator of the newly founded National Council for Culture and the Arts, in 1989. Subsequently, from 1990 to 1991, he served as Coordinator of International Affairs of the same council, and then became general director of the National Institute of Fine Arts, from 1991 to 1992. He was the second president of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) from 1992 to 2000, and was then appointed ambassador of Mexico in Italy, of 2001 to 2007.

He was president, from September 17 from 2007 to October 25 from 2008, of the Organizing Committee of the Bicentennial Commemoration of the start of the National Independence movement and of Centenary of the start of the Mexican Revolution, after the resignation of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano and the internship of Sergio Vela.[4]

He died in Mexico City on December 10, 2016.


He is the author of the book Modernización y política cultura (Modernization and cultural policy), edited by the Fondo de Cultura Económica, and participated in the collective work El patrimonio cultural de México (The cultural heritage of Mexico), two volumes.[5]

He published the novels: Paraíso es tu memoria (Paradise is your memory)[6] (Alfaguara, 2009); El último brindis de Don Porfirio (The last toast of Don Porfirio)[7] (Punto de Lectura. Santillana, 2012); De la paz al olvido. Porfirio Díaz y el final de un mundo (From peace to oblivion. Porfirio Díaz and the end of a world)[8] (Taurus, 2015).

Management at the National Institute of Fine Arts

He was general director of INBA from 1991 to 1992. During this period, the National Auditorium reopened its doors after the remodeling promoted, in 1989, by the National Council for Culture and the Arts, by the National Institute of Fine Arts and by the Regency of the Federal District.

Management in the National Council for Culture and the Arts (1992–2000)

As president of Conaculta, he defined and adopted strategic projects for cultural policy and the modernization of institutions. During his tenure, in 1993, the National System of Art Creators was formed to contribute to the promotion and recognition of creative activity in the arts, as a fundamental part of the national identity and as revaluation of those who have delivered their talent for the enrichment of the cultural legacy of Mexico.[9]

In 1994, the National Center of the Arts as a space to generate and explore new models and approaches around education, research and artistic diffusion, and also to foster interdiscipline in art, promote new technologies in the arts and create spaces for academic and artistic cooperation between institutions of different systems and levels in Mexico and abroad.[10]

Also in 1994, it was created, in the building known as The Citadel, the Image Center, for the exposition of photography.[11] n audiovisual media, the Channel 22 of open television.[12] In the cinema, the Foprocine (Fund for Quality Film Production in Spanish) and the Fidecine (Fund of Investment and Stimulus to Cinema in Spanish), for the production of short films and feature films, deserving of awards in many cases and participants in international festivals.[13]

During this period, the program Ibermedia[14] in 1999, to develop excellent cinematographic projects. Likewise, it was integrated into the cultural sector National Cineteca, to which resources were allocated to protect its collections and expand and renovate its facilities. To stimulate film culture, the Universal Video Library.

With the purpose of providing the country with a new national museum that concentrated the folk art, a trust was created for the development of the project to which, in collaboration with the Government of Mexico City, it was assigned a space in the Historic Center of Mexico City, currently the headquarters of Museum of Popular Art.[15]

In parallel to his responsibility as president of Conaculta, he was executive secretary of the Year 2000 Program Committee: "From the 20th Century to the Third Millennium",[16] celebration of the arrival of this emblematic date that was the reason in Mexico for a vast number of projects and activities.

Management in the National Council for Culture and the Arts (2012–2015)

Among his tasks was the creation of a Digital Agenda of Culture,[17] to boost the development of applications on topics such as cinema, books, history, children and children music, among others.[18]

Creation of the Ministry of Culture

On September 2, 2015, the president Enrique Peña Nieto proposed, in his Third Government Report, the creation of the Secretariat of Culture.[19] On September 7 he sent his creation initiative to legislators, which was approved by the Senate on 15 from December. More than 100 years after the birth of the Secretariat of Public Instruction, in 1905, and after it became Secretariat of Public Education in 1921,[20] in 2015 the first Secretariat of Culture was founded. On December 21, 2015, Rafael Tovar y Teresa was named the first Secretary of Culture of Mexico.


After being hospitalized since December 8, Rafael died early on December 10, 2016, at the age of 62 at the Military Hospital of Mexico City. His remains rest in the family crypt of the French Cemetery of San Joaquín in Mexico city next to his grandfather Guillermo de Teresa, his father Rafael Tovar Villa-Gordoa and his brother Guillermo Tovar de Teresa, who was a chronicler in Mexico City.[21]

On December 12 the then president Enrique Peña Nieto led a national tribute in memory of Rafael Tovar y Teresa at the National Center of the Arts, in which his son, Rafael Tovar López-Portillo delivered an emotional speech highlighting his father's legacy. Also, cellist Carlos Prieto highlighted the professional career of Tovar y Teresa. For his part, President Peña spoke of the human quality, professionalism and friendship he had with the deceased and placed him on the "altar of the greats" as José Vasconcelos and Jaime Torres Bodet.


His brother, Guillermo Tovar de Teresa, was a prominent art historian, bibliographer, art collector, chronicler, philanthropist and scholar.[22]


  1. ^ "Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, Secretary of Culture". May 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Meet the INBA". INBA. May 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Who is Rafael Tovar y de Teresa?". Diario La Razón. December 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rafael Tovar y Teresa's resignation to the commission for bicentennial celebrations". La Jornada. October 25, 2008.
  5. ^ "Profile. Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, Secretary of Culture". El Universal. December 21, 2008.
  6. ^ "Paraíso es tu memoria". La Jornada/Opinion, Teresa del Conde. March 17, 2009.
  7. ^ "The last toast of Don Porfirio".
  8. ^ "Presentation of the book: "From peace to oblivion. Porfirio Díaz and the end of a world "". University of Guadalajara. November 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "Rules of Operation of the National System of Art Creators" (PDF).
  10. ^ "National Center of the Arts". Cenart-Academic Life.
  11. ^ "History". Image Center.
  12. ^ "History". Metropolitan Television. Channel 22. January 7, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Mexican Institute of Cinematography celebrates 32 years". Ministry of Culture. March 25, 2015.
  14. ^ "Iber programs, regional strategy to strengthen cultural development in Latin America". Ministry of Culture. June 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "MAP, five years of being a fundamental reference of Mexican popular art". Ministry of Culture. February 28, 2011.
  16. ^ "Year 2000 Program: "From the Century XX to the Third Millennium "".
  17. ^ "Mexico proposes to generate a cultural digital agenda: Conaculta". OEM online. December 10, 2014.
  18. ^ "$ 600 million earmarked a cultural infrastructure". El Economista. July 2, 2015.
  19. ^ "Peña Nieto announces the creation of the Ministry of Culture". El Universal. September 2, 2015.
  20. ^ "History of the SEP". SEP. September 23, 2013. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  21. ^ Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, secretary of Culture, dies.
  22. ^ Palapa Quijas, F. (2013). Guillermo Tovar de Teresa died: "Being a chronicler is not a work or a title, but a vocation," he said. La Jornada, supplement "La Jornada de enmedio", p. 8a, Culture section. (Accessed November 13, 2013)
This page was last edited on 18 February 2021, at 12:45
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