50th anniversary of Picasso’s death to be commemorated in Spain and France

Cultural moves.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 26, 2022

France and Spain plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death on April 8, 2023. With the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death approaching next year, France and Spain will collaborate to stage an international exhibition honoring the artist’s legacy in 2023, with events taking place across Europe and in the United States.


The two European nations have collaborated to form a commission of cultural luminaries to lead the event, named “The Picasso 1973-2023 Celebration.” Cécile Debray, head of the Musée Picasso Paris, is in charge of the commission. She will put together the government-backed program with the artist’s grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, who created a museum dedicated to Picasso in Andalusia.


In Europe and North America, 40 exhibitions and events are scheduled to take place across museums and cultural organizations. It has not yet been revealed how this project will be funded.


The agreement to host the event series was reached at the most recent Franco-Spanish Summit, a meeting aimed at strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries. Members of both governments discussed themes such as sustainability, immigration, and defense as part of the agenda for the talks that took place on March 15 in the French province of Montauban. They also discussed the cultural sectors of both countries, which are still recuperating from the pandemic’s effects.


The committee in charge of the transnational event series was established, according to a statement made by the French culture ministry, to promote Picasso as an artist seeing as he “embodies the founding principles of Europe, made up of democratic states, defenders of human rights and freedom of expression.”


Picasso’s famous 1937 painting, Guernica, which is currently on display at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, was recognized as a crucial “anti-war symbol” in the statement.


Members of the European Union’s government stood symbolically in February in front of a tapestry version of the painting that has long been displayed at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The shot was meant to show support for an end to the conflict in Ukraine. In a joint statement, the French and Spanish ministries of culture and foreign affairs stated that their Picasso initiative intends to be “world-class,” and meant to be “one of the major European and international cultural events of the next few years.”


This is a great way to remember that art can, after all, affect some form of change in society. It is so often easy to forget the role that art plays in world politics, and events such as these are always a great reminder.


To read more about how art inspires change, here’s some cool facts about an AI artist and poet.


Photo via Entrepreneur