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Statement by the Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland about Tomi Ungerer

Secretary General Strasbourg 11 February 2019
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Thorbjørn Jagland and Tomi Ungerer, December 2011

Thorbjørn Jagland and Tomi Ungerer, December 2011

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, today expressed his deep sorrow at the news of the death of the Alsatian illustrator Tomi Ungerer.

"Today we have lost a great artist, and a committed European. The values of justice and humanism for which Europe is a vehicle were close to his heart. His fight for tolerance, through his books and drawings, is central to what our Organisation is all about.”

"Tomi, a cartoonist committed to European integration and Franco-German friendship, wanted to show that we are all equal and different. And that this difference is something extra that we have and others do not, as he liked to point out.”

Tomi Ungerer was appointed the first Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador for Children and Education in 2000. Among his creations for the Council was the famous penguin symbol accompanied by the words "I am black, I am white, I am black and white". The drawing has featured extensively in communication material, and also appeared on a French postage stamp.


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