Mexican Embassy searches for Australians who drew these pictures 50 years ago


May 10, 2018 07:13:21

If the above picture looks familiar, you may be wanted by Mexico.

Before you fret, you won’t be thrown behind bars — the only bar involved will be where you could be drinking tequila with the country’s diplomats.

The Mexican Embassy in Canberra is on the hunt for a handful of Australians who drew pictures for the World Children’s Painting Festival as part of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

To mark the 50th Anniversary this October, the government is opening an exhibition in its capital, and wants to feature the few surviving pieces of the originally 1,800-strong collection made from children all over the world.

Unfortunately, Santiago Ballina Garcia from the Mexican Embassy ruled out an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico for those who come forward.

“Most likely we would talk to them over the phone so we can interview them about the drawing,” Mr Garcia said.

“Or if they come to Canberra we would be more than happy to sit down and have a few tequilas now that they are all above drinking age.”

Mr Garcia said there were two groups of Australian children, aged between seven and 13, who either travelled to Mexico for the Olympics or sent drawings in.

All that is known about them is their name and age.

One Australian already found

But despite the scant available detail, the embassy has already tracked down one of its soon-to-be exhibition artists, who lives in Sydney.

“It was just a matter of luck,” Mr Garcia said.

“Someone we contacted happened to know one of the people and he had the chance to see the kangaroo he drew 50 years ago.”

“You can imagine his surprise — he was so happy and actually was surprised it was such a great drawing.”

Mr Gracia said the children could have travelled to Mexico in school or sports groups.

Kids from 80 countries contributed to the drawings and murals which went on to be displayed in some of Mexico City’s most iconic spots, including the famous avenue-turned-art-gallery, Paseo de la Reforma.

But Mr Gracia said few pieces had stood the test of time.

“At the time Mexico had one of the very first cultural programs of its time in bringing kids from all over the world to produce art,” he said.

“Showing them at the exhibition will be symbolic 50 years on – and imagine if someone called you out of the blue to say they want to show[case] a drawing you made that long ago?”

On the off chance any of those children were aspiring artists who never got to live their dream, that phone call could be greatly welcomed.

Mr Gracia urges anyone who recognises the names on the pictures displayed in this story to call the Australian Embassy in Canberra.

Other names of children who attended include David William Allingham Georg (seven at the time), Christopher Martin Karoly (13 at the time), Clare Elizabeth George (nine at the time) and David Scot Trama.










First posted

May 10, 2018 07:12:17

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