The consular corps accredited in Catalonia visited the exhibition "Miró-Picasso" at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona on a trip organised by the Ministry for Foreign Action and European Union and the Ministry of Culture.
The event, led by Ministers Meritxell Serret i Aleu and Natàlia Garriga i Ibáñez, is part of the second edition of Catalan Culture Day, a programme aimed at diplomatic representatives established in Catalonia so that they can gain first-hand knowledge of the top cultural initiatives around Catalonia, as well as of prominent venues and facilities.
Minister Serret opened her speech explaining that "the programme of relations with the consular corps is a strategic commitment of the Government to build mutually beneficial relationships, be useful to citizens, and create new opportunities".
The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union highlighted the value of the programme in "identifying new lines of collaboration and encouraging the exchange of knowledge and best practices at multiple levels".
She added that the Government is the "reference point" for connecting the consular corps "with the country's relevant actors in the fields of academia and science, science and innovation, health, the environment, energy, culture and education".
According to Serret, bringing various successful initiatives to the attention of the consular corps "strengthens the Government's foreign action and promotes the development of new projects". Finally, she pointed out that Barcelona is the fourth city in the world with the most consular representation, after Hong Kong, New York and Hamburg, and that the Government's 21 delegations abroad already cover 72 countries.
For her part, the Minister for Culture, Natàlia Garriga, highlighted the importance of Catalonia for the two painters in terms of their "personal and artistic life": "It is the country where they were both trained and inspired artistically". Garriga recalled Picasso's stay in Horta de Sant Joan: "Catalonia was always on his mind and he always loved our country, its people and its capital, Barcelona". With regard to Joan Miró, the minister remarked that "Mont-Roig will always be part of his emotional landscapes".
The Minister for Culture addressed the consular corps and celebrated "the opportunity you have today to enjoy the magnificent dialogue between Miró and Picasso, in which we see the two artists face to face, understanding the importance of both for Barcelona and for Catalonia".
Garriga thanked the consuls for their collaboration and encouraged them to become transmitters of all "the richness" of Catalan culture. "Culture as a bridge, culture as a home, culture as a source of inspiration.... We hope that you can ensure that all this wealth reaches your countries and your citizens," she said.
A friendship rooted in Barcelona that transformed the art of the 20th century.
"Miró-Picasso" is a joint project of the Joan Miró Foundation and the Picasso Museum of Barcelona. Through 250 works from museums and collections around the world, and divided into six chronological and thematic axes spread between the two spaces, it shows the artistic and personal connection between the two artists.
The exhibition is part of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, which includes more than 50 exhibitions and events in Europe and the United States to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the Malaga-born painter.
The president and the director of the Joan Miró Foundation, Sara Puig i Alsina and Marko Daniel, respectively, and the director of the Picasso Museum, Emmanuel Guigon, welcomed the visitors and accompanied them on the guided tour offered by the four curators of the exhibition: Teresa Montaner, Sònia Villegas, Margarida Cortadella and Elena Llorens.
A successful and long-running programme
During 2023, the consular corps went on several visits around Catalonia, including to the Hydrogen Valley of Catalonia, in Tarragona; the Port of Barcelona facilities that will host the 37th edition of the America's Cup sailing competition; the Enagás regasification plant, also in the Port of Barcelona, the "Women in International Relations" event at the University of Barcelona, and a route related to the Civil War and diplomatic heritage in Maresme county. In the cultural arena, they have been taken on visits to the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Palau de la Música Catalana.