Richard Demarco to receive Edinburgh Award

Richard Demarco Prof Demarco will be presented with the engraved Loving Cup at a ceremony in 2014

The art impresario and Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre co-founder Richard Demarco is to receive the seventh annual Edinburgh Award.

The artist and art entrepreneur, who was awarded European Citizen of the Year in August, has work in more than 2,500 art collections.

Prof Demarco will be presented with the engraved Loving Cup at a ceremony next year.

It has previously been awarded to Sir Chris Hoy and Prof Peter Higgs.

He will also have a mould of his hands taken and engraved into a permanent flagstone in the City Chambers quadrangle.

Million photographs

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: "I am delighted to be able present this year's award to Richard Demarco, whose tireless work to promote and present art from around the globe has doubtlessly enriched the Scottish art scene.

"The Edinburgh Award is a chance to honour an outstanding individual who has made an impact on the city and Prof Demarco is a most deserving recipient."

Born in 1930 to an Italian-Irish family in Edinburgh, Prof Demarco went on to co-found The Richard Demarco Gallery in 1966 before establishing the Demarco European Art Foundation.

Appointed a CBE in 2007, the 83-year old, who has organised hundreds of exhibitions, plays and conferences, counts the Romanian and German Orders of Merit and the Gold Medal of Poland amongst his accolades.

Professor Demarco has a collection of modern art by some of the most important figures in 20th century art and more than one million photographs.

He has also attended every Edinburgh Festival since its inception in 1947, and was appointed director of the Edinburgh Festival Contemporary Art exhibition programme in 1967.

'Deeply honoured'

Prof Demarco said: "I regard this award as an honouring of all the artists and art patrons who collaborated with me to develop a cultural dialogue between Scotland and the international art world.

"I feel deeply honoured but I am conscious of the countless numbers of all those who have helped me and who share my belief that Edinburgh is a nodal point on the cultural map of the world."

The decision to award Prof Demarco was taken by a panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives from groups on Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

The award was launched in 2007.

Other award winners include Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, Ian Rankin, JK Rowling and George Kerr.

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