By Ruba Hattar
Jordanians shared touching goodbyes all over social media since yesterday at the passing away of pioneer visual artists Muhanna Dorra, who died yesterday.
Muhanna Dura, one of the pioneers of Arab plastic art, was born in Amman in 1938, and graduated from the Rome Academy of Fine Arts in 1958.
In 1970, he established the first institute for art education in Jordan, the Institute of Fine Arts affiliated to the Ministry of Culture, which brought forth generations of Jordanian plastic artists. In his honor, the center was named to become the "Muhanna Dura Center for Arts Training." In 1975, Dura was appointed Director-General of the Jordanian Department of Culture and Arts, and later held the position of Director of Cultural Affairs at the Arab League in Tunis and its ambassador to both Rome and the Russian Federation.
He also worked as Director of Cultural Affairs at the League of Arab States (1980-1981), then he was appointed ambassador of the League of Arab States to the Russian Federation (1990-2001) and Director at the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in Tunis in 1988 and in Cairo in 1989.
He also recently worked as a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Jordan.
Some exhibitions and participations in biennales and symposiums:
He held personal exhibitions in a number of countries of the world, such as: Georgetown - Washington, Venice Palace in Rome, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Austria. He also participated in international festivals, the most important of which was the International Venice Biennale.
Awards and honors:
1965 Equestrian Medal from His Holiness Pope Paul VI
1970 Jordanian Honor Medal
1977 First State Appreciation Award from His Majesty the late King Hussein Bin Talal
1978 Gold Star Medal from the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage
1980 Medal of Honor from the Union of Arab Artists
2006 Medal of Honor from the President of the Italian Republic (Commendatore Della Republica)
2008 Distinguished Giving Medal of First Class from His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein.
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