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At the beginning of the Florence Biennale, in the Nineties, an art exhibition would have been a customary event in Florence, a city that boasts an ancient tradition of art and which was the "cradle of the Renaissance". An international biennial of contemporary art that was both a "showcase" and a space for dialogue between the artists themselves and their audience, on the other hand, would have turned out to be an extraordinary event. The founders, Piero and Pasquale Celona, ​​together with a committee of artists, curators and art critics, proposed a two-year model in which emerging talents as well as established artists could exhibit their works in a free and independent context. Thus was born the Florence Biennale, conceived as a "general assembly" of artists from around the world called to intervene at the international contemporary art exhibition in Florence. In 1997, in a period when the internet had not yet been widely distributed, the answer was surprising: 317 artists from 20 countries came to exhibit their work in the Medici city. Since then almost 6000 artists from over 100 countries have taken part in the Florence Biennale exposing their works during the different editions of an event that, under the direction of Jacopo Celona, ​​continues to be an international, independent and multi-media platform for art Contemporary. During each edition of the Florence Biennale, the artists distinguished for the works in competition in the relevant artistic categories receive the "Lorenzo il Magnifico" International Prize, awarded by an international jury made up of prominent personalities from the world of art and culture .



The Florence Biennale also awards the "Lorenzo il Magnifico" Prize to the career of individuals and institutions that have distinguished themselves for artistic merit or for their contribution to culture. Among the prizes for the art of past editions we remember Arata Isozaki, El Anatsui, Sauro Cavallini in memoriam, David Hockney, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Gilbert and George, Marina Abramović, José Luis Cuevas, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Anish Kapoor and Marta Minujín. Dialogue between peoples through art and respect for cultural diversity, inspired by the principles of peace and tolerance, are the founding values ​​of the Florence Biennale, which takes place under the patronage of Italian public authorities at the governmental and local levels. Official partner of the United Nations program "Dialogue between Civilizations" in 2001, the Florence Biennale received in 2007 the Artists for Human Rights Association Award founded by Anne Archer. This award was presented to the President of the Florence Biennale, Pasquale Celona, ​​an artist himself, for his commitment in defense of human rights through the languages ​​of art. In 2013 the Florence Biennale opened the partnership with the Italian Federation of UNESCO Centers and presented the Charter of Ethics of the New Millennium Artist at the XXXIII World Conference of UNESCO Centers. In 2015 Eugenio Giani, President of the Regional Council of Tuscany, awarded the "Pegaso d'Argento" to the Florence Biennale for excellence in the promotion of contemporary art on an international level.




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