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National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

R. Sapozhnikov (2005)

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The history of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico - UNAM) dates back to the colonial epoch. According to the decree of Spanish king Charles V (Carlos V) in 1551 the Royal catholic university of Mexico was founded.

Since 1929 the university enjoys its autonomous status. UNAM is the largest university of Mexico and, probably, of the whole Latin America. The university campus, located at Mexico city suburbs, occupies the huge territory of 7 million square meters, where 150 thousand people work and study! UNAM — is 18 departments, 6 state schools, 28 research institutions. Not only Mexicans but students from other countries, including Russia, study there.

The university architecture, which is considered to be the masterpiece of the XX century modernism, is rather distinctive. Administration Tower, Central Library, university Olympic stadium are known all over the world. Great masters of Mexico, such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan O'Gorman made their contribution in creation of the unique appearance of the University campus. It is O'Gorman who is the author of the the fresco at the facade of the ten-storey building of the Central library. The fresco features the complete history of Mexico from the pre-Columbus times till present time.

Being faithful to cultural traditions the university regularly holds art exhibitions.
One of the outdoor sculpture exhibitions is shown on the photo.

Student body of UNAM — is an embodiment of the spirit of independence of Mexican people. In recent years, the country authorities under the plea of «objective processes of globalisation» took too much interest in integration with the United States, which in reality turns into neo-colonial takeover of Mexican economy and natural recourses by transnational companies. National Autonomous University is one of the leading centers of resistance to such «peaceful takeover».

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