Tribute to Umberto Eco and to Moussa Sow


Paris, New Delhi, Beijing, Leipzig, 5 January 2022

Moussa Sow and Umberto Eco, Transcultura Conference 2005, India © Institut International Transcultura

The International Transcultura Institute pays tribute to Umberto Eco, the co-founder of the international network of researchers that created our institute. Umberto Eco passed away on 19 February 2016 and would have been 90 years old today. His scientific contributions and his commitment to the reciprocal knowledge of civilisations are invaluable and a source of inspiration for all the activities carried out by the members and supporters of Transcultura. We thank him for the magnificent cultural and academic legacy he has left us through the contributions and publications he has constantly dedicated to the International Institute Transcultura over three decades. A tribute will also be paid to him at the Europe-China Forum in April 2022.

Zhao Tingyang, Alain le Pichon, Wang Mingming, Umberto Eco, Renate Ramge, Transcultura Conference 2005, India © Institut International Transcultura
Moussa Sow, Transcultura Conference 2005, Germany © Institut International Transcultura

From the outset, when the Transcultura Institute was created in 1988, on the occasion of the 9th centenary of the University of Bologna, Umberto Eco was keen to invite African and Chinese researchers to put into practice a genuine attempt at reciprocal anthropology by including the perspectives and models of these cultures ‘furthest from our own’. Our dear colleague Moussa Sow, from the Institute of Human Sciences of Mali, was one of these pioneers and made an essential cultural and academic contribution to Transcultura’s research programmes for years. His death on 20 August 2021 in Bamako at the age of 65, five years after the death of Umberto Eco, with whom he had a deep friendship, wasanother inestimable loss for Transcultura.

Alain le Pichon, EU-Representative, Nicolas Chapuis, Huang Ping, Umberto Eco, Balveer Arora, Transcultura Conference 2007, China © Institut International Transcultura
Zhao Tingyang, Umberto Eco, Huang Ping, Transcultura Conference 2007, China © Institut International Transcultura

It is therefore to these two researchers, great personalities, and faithful friends of the cause of reciprocal transcultural knowledge, that we wish to pay tribute today.

International Institute Transcultura

The President