Lecturer honoured by European Parliament
Presented by Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, on behalf of the European Parliament at a ceremony in Edinburgh, the prize honours exceptional achievements and outstanding commitment to promoting better understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States.
Richard Demarco was integral in establishing performing arts teaching at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is now an Associate Lecturer at the University and commissions performances by students and staff each year at the Edinburgh Festival. He is currently working with a newly appointed Demarco Bursary PhD student, Alex Herod, as she uses the Demarco archive to look at how Richard has curated performance work from Eastern Europe over the last 50 years.
On receiving his award, Richard commented: "The great culture that binds us together as Europeans is also the culture of the world. There is no Polish art, or Scottish art, or English art, or Italian art. There is only art."
He recalled the origins of the Edinburgh Festival, which had aspired "to use the language of art to define a re-awakening, a period of forgiveness and reconciliation."
He said Edinburgh needed to tell the story and the history of the Edinburgh Festival and of the people who had made it happen.
Struan Stevenson said: "There could be no more appropriate recipient of the Citizen's Prize than Richard Demarco. He has spent his life embodying the concept and values of Europe through contemporary visual arts and theatre."
Richard Demarco has been one of Scotland's most influential advocates for contemporary art through his work at the Richard Demarco Gallery and the Demarco European Art Foundation. In 2006 he was made a Commander of the British Empire - CBE.
Richard will now travel to Brussels in October as a guest of the President of the European Parliament for a formal investiture ceremony for laureates of the European Citizen's Prize.