The “Manifesta” Biennale 2018 to be held in Palermo

November 23, 2015

The most important European Biennale of contemporary art, Manifesta, will be held in Palermo in 2018. The Sicilian city recently won over its competitors, Prague and a consortium of Swedish cities, obtaining the honor of hosting the next edition of the famous event.

For the next three years, Palermo will commit to a series of artistic and cultural activities leading to Manifesta - which will last for about four months. The Biennale will be managed by a foundation and will see the involvement of the Municipality as sole shareholder, with its mayor, Leoluca Orlando, in the role of honorary president.

Orlando is pleased: “After being inserted in the list of Unesco’s world heritage sites, Palermo collects now a new and prestigious award, a great Biennale of nomadic and migrant art - just as our city wants to be. We are expecting a very high number of visitors, because today we have the right to promote the development of Palermo even through art and culture. Manifesta 2018 will have to be a new point of pride for all the people of Palermo and a decisive driver of attraction for tourism and new economy, both for our city and the entire Sicily”.

The president of the City Council, Salvatore Orlando, adds: “We are very proud to host Manifesta12, and I extend my appreciation to those who have worked quietly for the success of this great event”.

Palermo, as stated by the Councillor for Culture, Andrea Cusumano, will be side by side with other great cities in the world, such as Zurich and St. Petersburg - which previously hosted the event, and this could lead to important cultural and artistic collaborations of international level.

Hedwig Fijen, director of Manifesta, believes that “this event must rethink the city center as a place to live Palermo’s urban contest”, and defines the city as “friendly and fantastic, the natural place for the event”.

Finally, the Manifesta Foundation explained its decision in the following statement: “The City of Palermo was important for Manifesta’s selection board for its representation of two important themes that identify contemporary Europe: migration and climate changes and how these issues impact our cities. The multi-layered and deeply condensed history of Palermo—being occupied by almost every European civilization and having long-term connections with Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean over the last 2,000 years—has left its traces throughout this multicultural society at the heart of the Mediterranean area”.

In the meantime, Zurich is preparing to the opening of Manifesta11, about seven months away from now. The Biennale will start on June 11, right before the opening of Art Basel, and is being organized by Christian Jankowski.

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