The Council of Ministers today awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts to PHotoEspaña
, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts. The award, made by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, honours the work of people and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to artistic and cultural creation, to the encouragement, development and dissemination of art and culture, or to the preservation of the countrys artistic heritage.
The Council of Ministers awarded this distinction in a Royal Decree issued last Friday, noting that "since 1998 PHotoEspaña has gradually become established as a major event in the visual arts world. In addition to its headquarters in the Spanish capital, over the years it has also been operative in other cities, including Toledo, Aranjuez, Paris, Lisbon and Cuenca. It is now among the most far-reaching and internationally-acclaimed cultural events. The exhibitions which together make up the Festival are hosted by Madrids top art centres and museums, as well as private galleries and cultural spaces. With over half a million participants, the Festival has become one of Spains leading cultural activities".
Alberto Anaut, the President of PHotoEspaña, has stated: We are honoured and proud to receive this award, in recognition of a project that, from the outset, has sought to enhance public awareness of the work of the worlds best photographers and visual artists, and to promote the development of Spanish photography. At the same time, this award pays tribute to the institutions, organisations and brands that over the years have done so much to support photography and the visual arts, and that have helped to make PHotoEspaña a unique partnership-based festival. Whats more, the Medal has come at the right time, just a few months before the 17th edition of the Festival, which this year will be devoted entirely to Spanish photography".
Other winners of this years award are Manuel Alejandro, Cecilia Margarita Bartolomé Pina, Eduardo Cardenal Gómez, the Las Minas International Flamenco Song Festival, Jorge Herralde Grau, Victoria Eugenia (Betty), Mansilla+Tuñón Architects, Tomás Marco Aragón, Victorino Martín Andrés, Gerard Mortier, Alicia Hermida, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Joan Pons Álvarez, Juanjo Seoane, Sybilla and the Teatro Principal, Mahón. Earlier winners of Gold Medals for Merit in the Fine Arts include Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao, Fundación Juan March, Antonio Saura, José Guerrero, Rufino Tamayo, Museo Guggenheim de Bilbao, Elvira González Frax, Eduardo Arroyo, Rafael Sanz Lobato, Cristina García Rodero, Soledad Lorenzo, Pilar Citoler Carilla, ARCO (the International Contemporary Art Fair), Helga de Alvear, Alberto Schommer, Juan Gatti, Isabel Muñoz and Pilar Pequeño.