As part of the 200th anniversary of Guatemala's independence and the 147th anniversary of diplomatic relations between two countries, we interviewed H.E. Jairo David Estrada Barrios, the Ambassador of Guatemala.

TDO: Dear Ambassador, within the scope of the events, what can you say about the exhibition of the works prepared by the Guatemalan Painter Fernando Valdiviezo with the banknotes of the Republic of Turkey and his works of art?

Ambassador Jairo Estrada: It’s for me an honor to present you the exhibition of the Guatemalan artist, Fernando Valdiviezo. The series is called “Living Symbology” which consists the representation of these 7 drawings, of the vision of each of the personalities that appear in the Turkish lira banknote, with the technic of integrating the original banknote into the work, which enhances and shows Turkey in current times.

It is the very first time that the Guatemalan artist, Fernando Valdiviezo worked with the whole series of banknotes of a country. Living Symbology was created in honor to the history of the Republic of Turkey. On the 5 lira Turkish bill, the artist Valdiviezo inspired by the great contributions of the Distinguished Prof. Aydın Sayılı to the study of the universe, his special dedication to the study of the rainbow and the phenomenology of light and the atmosphere around this meteorological phenomenon.  He entitled this work as "The one who solved the mystery", the mystery that the universe holds.

The 10 lira Turkish bill has the effigy of the mathematician the Distinguished Prof. Cahit Arf who studied the depths of mathematics as a mystery or conceptual basis for the construction of the universe. Among other things, he also did studies on knots; the scientific study that supports the physical structure of the creation of the knot.  This drawing is named as "Walking in the structure" by the artist.

Let me explain the 20 Turkish lira bill. In this bill, the architect Ahmet Kemaleddin is honored, he was an architect who belonged to the first national architectural movement of Turkey and was a man who dedicated his life to the study of the architectural style inherited from the Ottoman culture. Therefore, this work was called "The secret is in space" by the artist.

The writer, novelist, essayist Fatma Aliye Topuz appers on the 50 lira Turkish bill. She was born in the 19th century, whose works reached its peak in the 20th century. The struggle for women's rights was in the center of her works. This work was named as “Letters to heaven”.

Now let's talk for a moment about the work that appears on the 100 Turkish lira bill, in which the character that stands out is Buhurizade Mustafa Itri. He was a Turkish musician in the classical tradition of Turkish music and besides having studied in depth traditional Turkish music, he created thousands of works. This work was called "The Sounds of Heaven".

There are two works made by integrating the 200 lira Turkish bill. The first 200 lira Turkish bill the artist worked on was a tribute that the Turkish government paid to Yunus Emre who was a prodigious writer, great influencer for the rest of Turkish literature during the history. The drawing the artist made in his honor is called "Universal Legacy".

Finally, the second 200 Turkish lira bill, which is a tribute to the father of Turks, founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Words are not enough to explain him. Therefore, the artist called this work “Wisdom, Vision and Spirit”.

You may wonder why the designs of the Turkish liras?  Before giving an answer to you, please let me inform you that the Government of Guatemala through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promotes Cultural Diplomacy which is an expression that allows strengthening the relationship between Guatemala and Turkey;  As a respond to the previous question, It is Turkish lira because this year the Republic of Guatemala and the Republic of Turkey celebrate its 147 years of prosperous Diplomatic Relations, which were established in 1874, with the Ottoman Empire.

As one more example of the commitment that exists to continue strengthening our Diplomatic Relationships; the Republic of Guatemala with great pleasure will give the series “Living Symbology” to the Republic of Turkey so it can remain exhibited in any other considered place.

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