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CULTURE

France and Spain to mark 50 years since Picasso’s death with year of exhibitions

From the Prado museum to the Pompidou Centre and New York's Met, the art world has mobilised to stage "an unprecedented" 42 exhibitions marking 50 years since Picasso's death, it was announced on Monday.

France and Spain to mark 50 years since Picasso's death with year of exhibitions
Pablo Picasso's "Las Meninas" on show at the Prado Museum in Madrid Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Prepared over the past 18 months by France and Spain, the “Year of Picasso” initiative will involve “38 very important art institutions in Europe and the United States,” Spanish Culture Minister Miquel Iceta told reporters.

The aim is to “show off all the facets” of Picasso, said French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak, describing him as “the most famous and emblematic modern artist”.

Picasso was born in the Spanish city of Malaga in 1881 and died in Mougins on the French Riviera in 1973.

A series of talks about him and his work will also be held alongside the exhibition.

The celebrations will begin on September 23rd at Madrid’s Mapfre Foundation with the exhibit “Pablo Picasso and the breaking down of sculpture” and will run until April 2024 with the closing exhibit at the Petit Palais in Paris.

Although most events will take place in Spain, France and the United States, others will happen in Germany, Switzerland, Romania and Belgium.

Among the institutions involved in the celebrations are the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madrid’s Prado, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Picasso museums in Barcelona and Paris.

“We want to present Picasso exactly how he was,” by highlighting his “artistic legacy” and the “permanence of his work”, the Spanish culture minister said. 

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CULTURE

‘Marlowe’ closes Spain’s San Sebastian film festival

Spain's prestigious San Sebastian film festival wrapped up on Saturday with the international premiere of "Marlowe" starring Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson.

'Marlowe' closes Spain's San Sebastian film festival

Based on John Banville’s novel “The Black Eyed Blonde”, the movie is set in 1930s Los Angeles.

Private eye Philip Marlowe — played by Neeson — is tasked with finding the missing ex-lover of Clare Cavendish, a beautiful heiress played by German-born actress Diane Kruger.

The character Marlowe has been played before by the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Elliott Gould, but Neeson said this pedigree didn’t phase him from taking part in the neo-noir thriller.

“Even though these wonderful actors have played it before, that didn’t intimidate me,” Neeson told a press conference in San Sebastian.

The film by Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan was screened out of competition at the 70th edition of the festival, which opened in San Sebastian in northern Spain on September 16.

“We don’t get to play those kind of characters very often anymore or those kind of films are not being made that often anymore,” said Kruger, known for films such as “Inglourious Basterds” and “Troy”.

“I knew Neil would give it a certain quirky twist and that he would cast it superbly,” said Neeson.

A total of 17 films are competing for the best award in the official selection, with the festival’s prizes to be announced at a ceremony late Saturday.

The festival is the fourth major European film gala of the year, following Cannes, Venice and Berlin.

It was originally intended to honour Spanish-language films but has established itself as a top showcase for new films.

The festival hosted the world premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s spy thriller “North by Northwest” in 1959 and Woody Allen’s “Melinda and Melinda” in 2004.

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