"Claude Lévi-Strauss, one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, has always been very close to the unfolding history of UNESCO. His work, with its humanist message and universal scope, has radically changed our understanding of the world": thus the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today paid homage to the sociologist, anthropologist and academician of France, one of the most important exponents of structuralism in human sciences, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. "Interested in all civilizations – went one Matsuura – he has taught us the complexity of myths and the diversity of cultures, as well as their fragility. Thanks to him, we know that the wealth of humanity lies in its diversity and its ability to accept the other". Born in Brussels on November 28th, 1908, in 1949 Claude Lévi-Strauss took part in the works of the International Commission of scholars entrusted with the drawing up of the first UNESCO declaration on race, published in 1950. In 1951, he presided over the committee of experts entrusted with establishing the International Social Science Council. He was the first secretary general of that Council, from 1952 to 1961. From 1950, he has been teaching at the School for Advanced Studies in Paris.

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