Umberto Eco, Italian scholar and author, died on Friday in Milan. Tributes to his person and his work have since appeared in papers all over the world.
“As a semiotician, Mr. Eco sought to interpret cultures through their signs and symbols — words, religious icons, banners, clothing, musical scores, even cartoons — and published more than 20 nonfiction books on these subjects while teaching at the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university,” wrote the New York Times.
Many newspapers remembered Eco’s interest in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, which the author had vastly covered in his interview with Pagine Ebraiche on the eve of the release of his masterwork, The Prague Cemetery in 2010.
“His 2010 book ‘The Prague Cemetery’ depicted a 19th-century forger who is behind the notorious text that became the foundation for anti-Semitism across Europe: ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’ While in Israel for the Jerusalem International Book Fair in 2011, Eco expressed opposition to cultural boycotts and said that censuring artists because of actions committed by their governments was akin to racism,” highlighted Haaretz.