5 December 2018
The EPO has been honoured with the Corporate Art Award at an event held on 28 November in the European Parliament in Brussels in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The international jury for the prize recognised the EPO's art collection for its quality to "shape the daily working environment through a collection of conceptual contemporary art".
The Corporate Art Awards were developed in 2016 by experts who founded the first crowd-funding platform for art in collaboration with LUISS Business School. They recognise institutions, corporations and private collectors who actively contribute to the development of the arts and society.
Under the auspices of the European Parliament and the European Committee of Regions, nearly 50 companies, public institutions and private investors from 28 countries were invited to present their concept of contemporary art patronage at a ceremony in the Parliament.
EPO President António Campinos said: "As an international organisation we are an interface of culture, science and technology. It has always been our conviction that contemporary art has the ability to stimulate creativity and to open new perspectives, and connect people inside and outside our Office."
Under the title "Art patrons of the XXI Century" the event explored new ways of art patronage for promoting a European cultural identity. More than 200 firms and institutions from all over the world submitted their concept. The jury evaluating the concepts included, amongst others, Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Bartomolomeo Pietromarchi, Director of Maxxi Arte in Rome and Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Director of the Archeological Park of Paestum.
"Art and culture can be considered a kind of soft power with a high potential to attract people," said Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, in a message to the delegates. "Art reinforces the idea of a common European belonging."
The EPO's art collection today comprises some 800 works. Founded in 1980 and dedicated to emerging art, the collection aims to provide a link to society and, at the same time, to offer identification for the employees through its multicultural face. The collection houses important works of classical artists such as Max Bill (CH), Nicolas Schöffer (FR), Panamarenko (BE), Fausto Melotti (IT), Stanislaw Kolibal (CZ), as well as younger artists including Tomás Saraceno (ARG), Jaroslaw Flicinski (PL), Heimo Zobernig (AT), Malene Landgreen (DK) and Katarina Löfström (SE).