On 28th October, the Chamber of Commerce of Belgium and Luxembourg in Spain and the Spanish-Dutch Business Forum awarded their XXV Premio Marqués de Villalobar to the Prado National Museum during a gala dinner in the Muses room of the Madrid art gallery.
This Award is a recognition to the professional excellence that is given to a personality or institution that has stood out remarkably contributing to a better understanding between the nations that the association represents, promoting and deepening the economic, political, scientific and cultural relations, always with the idea of a united Europe.
This year the Jury unanimously considered that the Prado National Museum, which today celebrates the Bicentennial of its foundation, was the ideal candidate with whom to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Award for several important reasons: the museum houses the best collection of Flemish painting in the world; in these two hundred years, the Madrid art gallery has fostered the cultural ties that have united our societies throughout history; and finally, each time a painting from the Prado travels to another country to participate in an exhibition, it is also an ambassador of the best that our countries have: their rich culture, alien to political ups and downs. This is the extraordinary thing about Art, its universal essence and its capacity to transcend borders and languages.
The event was chaired by Mr. Yves Verhamme, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Belgium and Luxembourg in Spain and the Hispano-Netherlands Business Forum, and was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E. Mr. Marc Calcoen; the Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, H.E. Mrs. Michèle Pranchère-Tomassini; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain in Belgium, H.E. Mrs. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma; the former Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain in Belgium, H.E. Mrs. Cecilia Yuste Rojas; and the Illustrious Sir José Saavdera Ligne, Marquess of Villalobar. The President of the Chamber, Mr Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons also participated in the event.
Before dinner, attendees enjoyed a private guided tour of the Museum’s fabulous Flemish painting rooms.
The President’s welcome speech, accompanied by a glass of crémant de Luxembourg, offered by the Grand Duchy Embassy, opened the award ceremony.
The award was collected by Mr. Miguel Falomir Faus, Director of the Prado National Museum.