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A tribute to Lebanese Mexican Artist Ramez Barquet, on the International Day of the Lebanese Emigrant

A tribute to Lebanese Mexican Artist Ramiz Barquet on the International Day of the Lebanese Emigrant 2014.

Ramiz baraquet was honored by both government of Lebanon and mexico.

Best Enduring Recognition: That Given to Sculptor Ramiz Barquet


It’s quite a tribute when the governments of two countries — Mexico, the country of his birth, and Lebanon, where his parents were born — honor a man beloved by all who know him. Much of Puerto Vallarta’s monumental public art, including the oft-touched “La Nostalgia” on the Malecon, is Ramiz Barquet’s creation, this town his home since the ‘70s.

The story of how it happened begins some 40 years ago, when the child of one of his friends died in a car accident and Ramiz gave him a sculpture of a crucifix as a sign of condolence. They gradually lost touch, but years later, when Said Assam was the president of the Lebanese cultural center in Mexico City and commissioning a sculpture to represent 100 years of Lebanese migration to Mexico, he naturally thought of Ramiz.

So, he went to see him in his studio, and “The Emigrant” was the result — an exquisitely sculpted man in traditional Lebanese dress that was installed in the garden of the center, a replica sent to Beirut. Today, 300,000 Mexicans of Lebanese origin live in this country, two-thirds of them in Mexico City. And that wonderful piece commissioned nearly three decades ago has taken on a life of its own.

Not only was another replica recently installed in Mexico City, this time on its most important avenue, but the government issued a commemorative stamp depicting it to celebrate 125 years of the Lebanese presence in Mexico. And here in Puerto Vallarta, we can view the first-ever prototype of this internationally recognized piece at Galeria Pacifico.

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Published Sep 25, 2011

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