President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his regret over the death of Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, the first Secretary of Culture.

"The government has lost an exemplary man who served our country with vocation and commitment for years”:

“An exceptional public servant, he was a passionate and tireless promoter of Mexico and its culture throughout the world. We will miss you, Rafa. May you rest in peace”: EPN

Secretary of Culture Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, died this morning at the Central Military Hospital in Mexico City at the age of 62. 


  • Rafael Tovar y de Teresa held various positions in the Finance Secretariat and the National Institute of Fine Arts, an organization he directed from 1991 to 1992.
  • He served as Director General of Cultural Affairs of the Foreign Affairs Secretariat, from 1979 to 1982, and Mexican Ambassador to Italy, from 2001 to 2007. 
  • The National System of Art Creators, the National Arts Center (Cenart) and the Image Center were created while he was director of CONACULTA.
  • He was appointed Secretary of Culture on December 21, 2015.