Good Journey, Sofia: Venezuelan Art Promoter, Journalist Sofia Imber Dies at 92
Sofia Imber, former director and founder of the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art and one of Venezuela's most influential women journalists, died Monday in the capital. She was 92.
The former director of what was once among Latin America's most important art galleries succumbed to complications due to old age, her biographer, Diego Arroyo Gil, told The Associated Press.
In 1971, when Venezuelan authorities were looking for a place to display art, Imber famously said: "If you give me a garage, I will turn it into a museum."
Three years after, she created a foundation to transform an auto parts garage into the first museum of modern art in Venezuela. The collection includes now works by Picasso, Matisse, Henry Moore, Fernando Botero and many Venezuelan artists.
Imber's television program Buenos Dias, which she hosted with her second husband from 1969 to 1993, was a landmark of Venezuelan journalism and politics. She became famous for her cutting interviews with global leaders such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Israel's Simon Peres and the Dalai Lama, as well as with writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Imber, a critic of the socialist government established by the late President Hugo Chavez, was laid off as the museum's director by Chavez in 2001. She called her dismissal "one of the most painful moments" of her life.
In 1967, she became the first Latin American woman to win UNESCO's Picasso Medal. She also received awards in Brazil, France, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico and Spain.
Born in Soroca, Moldova, then in the former Soviet Union, she arrived in Venezuela in 1930 with her family. She later graduated from Central University of Venezuela.
As reported in Voice of America.