Fernando Botero Dies at 91: This Is How Colombia Reacts

Colombia is shocked by the death of the prestigious artist Fernando Botero. Here we tell you what the reactions have been and how his work is related to the Casa de Nariño and his hometown, Medellín .

Fernando Botero

Photo: EFE/Alfredo Aldai


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Leer en español: Fernando Botero muere a las 91 años: Así reacciona Colombia

The death at 91 years of age of the Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero moved his native country this Friday, where personalities from all political sides mourn the death of one of their greatest artists and his contribution to peace.

"Fernando Botero has died, the painter of our traditions and defects, the painter of our virtues. The painter of our violence and peace. Of the dove a thousand times discarded and a thousand times placed on its throne," said in a message in X (formerly Twitter), the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro.

Fernando Botero Angulo, born on April 19, 1932, had lived for years in the Italian city of Pietrasanta where he maintained his workshop until his last days, and died this Friday in Monaco, according to his daughter Lina.

Fernando Botero in the House of Nariño

"We deeply regret the departure of Fernando Botero, one of the greatest artists in Colombia and the world. Always generous with his country, a great friend, and a passionate builder of peace. Our most sincere condolences to his entire family," said on social media former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos.

Former president Álvaro Uribe remembered him this Friday on social networks as "a great man", who "gave a good name to the country, exalted the culture. Thank you Maestro Botero."

Botero's work is very present in the Casa de Nariño, headquarters of the Colombian presidency, where visitors can see "The Dove of Peace", a plump white sculpture that he made on the occasion of the signing of the peace agreement with the guerrilla of the FARC in 2016, or "The Nun", a monumental painting that he donated in the 80s to then-president Belisario Betancur.

"I am sorry for the death of maestro Fernando Botero. His work opened paths of dignity and recognition for Colombian art, his legacy is a source of pride for the entire country. I express my condolences to his family and friends," said Vice President Francia Márquez.

Fernando Botero and the city of Medellín

For his part, the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, lamented "with pain in his soul the death of maestro Botero."

" His life, his work, his love for Medellín and Colombia will last forever. Medellín decrees seven days of mourning and will pay tribute from Plaza Botero and other places where his legacy will remain forever," the mayor announced.

The governor of Antioquia, whose capital is Medellín, Aníbal Gaviria Correa, expressed the "deep shock" for "the death of MASTER Fernando Botero, the most illustrious artist from Antioquia, the greatest in all of Colombia's history, our most excellent ambassador to the world".

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