8 April 2023 sees the 50th anniversary of the death of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The French and Spanish authorities wish to organise a major transnational event in 2023 to commemorate his works and artistic legacy in France, in Spain and internationally.
In this regard, and with the aim of coordinating the Celebration of Picasso 1973-2023, the French and Spanish authorities, in response to the commitment agreed at the 26th France-Spain Summit in Montauban (15 March 2021), have set up a specific bilateral commission, made up of representatives from the Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs of the two countries and by other qualified figures: Cécile Debray, President of the National Picasso Museum of Paris; Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, President of the Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Art Foundation, Coordinator of the Celebration of Picasso 1973-2023 for France, and José Guirao, former minister and Coordinator of the Celebration of Picasso for Spain.
This bilateral commission met for the first time on 28 February 2022, to begin the work between the two governments and general coordination with the cultural institutions involved in the organisation of the events associated with this celebration.
The Celebration of Picasso 1973-2023 will be structured around some 40 exhibitions and events, primarily to be held in Europe and North America. This will also provide an opportunity to prepare an historiographic study on the focus of the work of Picasso.
This bilateral commission will ratify the figure of Picasso as a universal and pro-European artist, who embodies the founding principles of Europe, made up of democratic States, proponents of human rights and the freedom of expression. His work – Guernica – has become the greatest anti-war symbol of our modern history at an international level. Nowadays, the legacy of Picasso and his commitment to peace are a major reference point for European citizens.
The Ministers for Culture and for Foreign Affairs of the two countries welcome the holding of this first meeting of the bilateral commission and of the great commitment of all the parties involved in this project, which will make the Celebration of Picasso 1973-2023 one of the main European and international cultural events in the coming years.
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