There are very many special days that we have the change to celebrate throughout the year: Women’s Day, Peace Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines’ Day, Worker’s Day, Theater Day and so on. But we did not have any “ONE” special art day that would unite the whole world. On April 5-6, 2011, the 17th General Assembly of AIAP / IAA World, holding its meeting in Guadalajara, (World Art Associations founded in 1954) has voted unanimously the proposal brought by Turkey and co-signed by several world delegate countries: the AIAP General Assembly accepted that the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, April 15, becomes “World Art Day”. It goes without saying that the existence of such a united World Art Day will help tremendously the spreading of the “art awareness” throughout the globe. The celebrations will start on April 15, 2012. On that day we suggest that all museums and galleries stay open long nights, we expect conferences and panel discussions to be held on that day (and eventually throught out the week, following April 15). In the evening, celebrations and wild parties should follow all the exhibitions opening simultaneously on “D Day”! Long Live Art!






Dear IAA World members, dear Congress participants,

As we all know, the World is going in many wrong directions. It is hard to repeat everything here, but we are all aware of the greedy wars, the daily assaults against human values, the economic and political interests taking precedence over human rights and ideologies of peace. . We can not also ignore the impact that the quest for nuclear power and arms, coupled with insincere relations between countries are undermining the importance of the humanitarian, artistic and ethic values that we all cherish. Last but not the least, the growing pressures coming from various totalitarian regimes, created on the basis of political value or religious extremism are threatening the general foundations of democracy that we all cherish. The turmoil our world is currently living through, needs the power that freedoms of thought, and speech can bring to this tumultuous world. And who better to lead this effort than the “Artists” of this World.

Over the course of history, people have established dates to remind us of important values in our life. “Mother’s Day”, “Father’s Day”, “Lover’s Day (St Valentine’s)”, “World Peace Day”, “World Theater Day” are among those days that the World celebrates with care and respect.

I propose that we need to establish, as soon as possible, a “World Art Day” in order to promote the values our profession has brought to the world since the beginning of time. Establishing such an important day worldwide, would definitely help the present and future generations grasp the importance that art has had on our world over the centuries. There is clearly a growing need for the world to recognize the importance that art has had on our planet and to bring to the forefront the role that artists has had on civilization. In the past there have been some feeble efforts to recognize the intricate value and importance of art through such a move, however with very little success. There is no “World Art Day” that is celebrated worldwide…

We have thought about the issue in depth as the Turkish Committee and decided to suggest to thel7th General Assembly in Guadalajara as “World Art Day”, the day of birth of the great Italian Renaissance Man, one of the most creative human beings to be born, the greatly respected painter, sculptor, thinker, writer, scientific innovator, mathematician, philosopher who is above all these titles a great artist, Leonardo da Vinci.

Of course one could have chosen from many of the World’s most respected and honorable persons in the arts field. From Caravaggio to Goya, from Michelangelo to Rembrandt, from Picasso to Dali or Duchamp… But in our opinion none represent the spirit and values which we each hold so important as those coming from the wise Italian man from Tuscany in the vicinity of Florence. In our opinion, Da Vinci, stands head and shoulder above all the other honorable artists who have left their permanent mark on our World. Leonardo’s discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, hydrodynamics and also his versatility in his creative search that comes with a feverish inventive imagination, his calm yet determined personality, his capacity to bring various disciplines together along with his charismatic character that have survived “the test of time”, have made his birthday the most suitable date for the World to celebrate “World Art Day”. That s why we wanted suggest this date. Since art depicts after all the revolution of new ideas, the eclosion of the creative spirit, a beautiful spring day would stand out to carry this feeling of freshness and hope. (Sorry for our Australian, South American and African friends and others in the South hemisphere :) Anyway “springtime” which depicts the rejuvenation of life is only a secondary reason for suggesting Leonardo’s Birthday.

We suggest that April 15,2012, become the first day of universal celebration of the “World Art Day”.

This decision would give a big economic boost to the arts, many municipalities, universities, museums and foundations . Most, if not all of these institutions would generate new funds to celebrate this date and recognize the historical importance of art on the development of humanity, and propel these institutions to launch projects that would recognize the value and contributions of artist from around the World for all the generations to follow.

Many persons could be tempted to start their first art collections and many artist young and old would stand more chances to be remembered and commemorated on such a day when the whole World would be thinking and breathing art. We envision a day in which every museum and gallery of the World with open-night events that would last till midnight… Besides the economic boost it would provoke, special affection and respect to the art world. Art and Artists would become dominant on that day and wrong doings of censorship and other even greater evils would be much harder to defend with the weight created with the “World Art Day”…

We hope to have created in you the same enthusiasm that we are feeling with this amendment proposal. Just imagine how this decision would from this day on change the lives of so many millions of artists, for the better, through a common simultaneous celebration. From China to Serbia, to Australia and Mexico, from Sweden to the Phillipines, to Egypt, England and France, the World would be united under the drive and spirit that represents our profession. One thing is sure: The establishing of such a day, can not do any harm and can only help fuel a better World.

Of course that it will not be easy to promote this dream and vision worldwide. As challenging as it will be, it’s also very possible. It is not unthinkable that such a day can be established worldwide. If this General Assembly stands up today and votes for this decision, each one of our national Committees will bear the responsibility and honor to share this historic decision with their members and all the museums and galleries in their country, along and with the Ministry of Culture of their respective countries. It will be the responsibility of each national Committee to assume the leading role in our to establish the first day we celebrate this historical day to be April 15, 2012. We can inform UNESCO as well and let the World learn faster on that decision. We are not saying that we should expect UNESCO or any other organization to validity our decision. Because this will be a decision coming from artists, not politicians. We will only ask UNESCO to spread the news faster and wider to the World.

We have enough time till April 15 to promote the event and to prepare the long day and night! The fact that this date is close to “World Theater Day” can make it a better common action plan package for the Ministries and Municipalities that would be committed to this cause.

On that day all museums should be free of charge worldwide and art books/films/catalogues etc. should have special serious discounts in every sales point. At night, after midnight needless to say that parties all over the World would be launched to prolong the celebrations after hours… Trust us that many lives could and would be change with this decision, if we pass it here in Guadalajara with the contributing ideas of such a respectfull and responsible audience, we will establish today as a milestone in the World History of Art.

With our sincere regards,

Bedri Baykam
UNESCO / I.A.A.P. Turkish National Committee UPSD President
April 4th, 2011

Committee Members
Bahri Genç, Safiye M. Erdurak, Hülya Kupçüoglu, Berna Erkün, Melik Iskender, Murat Havan