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The center of the world

UNESCO (English abbreviation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris, founded in November 1945, to contribute to peace and security in the world. world through education, science, culture and communications. Twenty nations signed its initial letter: two African, six American, five Asian, five European and two Oceanic. Today it is made up of 195 countries and 10 associate members. From its beginnings, it assumed as its corporate logo the image of an ancient temple that “symbolizes one of its main objectives, which is the carrying out of cultural activities for the preservation of world cultural and historical heritage,” where its six columns form the word that identifies it. In reality, it emulates the front of the Athenian Parthenon.

Umberto Eco proposes that each cultural phenomenon must be studied from the point of view of communication, and optical communication is a way by which we transmit ideas. Within the medium, we find two-dimensional elements or resources that are used so that the message can be understood correctly. An example could be typography, glyph, drawing, color or holograms. We even find visual semiotics in maps and especially those of empires that usually have a center, a navel, an origin from which their power, their truth and their ethics flow. An imperialist map is narcissistic, as the Danish philosopher Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther points out. For the Roman Empire, Rome was the navel of the world. Distances were measured in lines, in fact, the city contains the Umbilicus Urbis Romae (“the navel of the city of Rome”). Imperial China was located in the middle of the Earth; Christianity located the city of Jerusalem in the planetary axial. The Aztecs and Incas also had their own sovereign countermaps as universal axes.

Made up of a kaleidoscope of cultures and civilizations, even more ancient than that of the goddess Athena, it is time for UNESCO to call a contest of ideas to conceive a graphic representative of the world's cultural and historical heritage, a symbol that is inclusive.

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