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Bank Austria sets a new course for arts sponsorship

  • SIGNA Holding becomes new cooperation partner for the Bank Austria Kunstforum, which will move into a new, even more central location on Seitzergasse
  • Bank Austria provides new funds for regional and national arts projects
  • Four new arts awards from Bank Austria will stimulate the Austrian art and culture scene

Bank Austria, one of the leading patrons of the arts in Austria, has been setting new standards on the Austrian art exhibition market for over 20 years with the Bank Austria Kunstforum. The sale of the property on Renngasse to René Benko's SIGNA Holding has allowed Bank Austria to gain an important new partner that will offer the Kunstforum a new home in an up-and-coming pedestrian zone. "We are pleased to have SIGNA Holding as an important cooperation partner for the Bank Austria Kunstforum. With its new location on Seitzergasse, the Kunstforum will be even closer to Vienna's city centre," explained Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria. "The exhibitions will be held at the current location at Freyung until March 2011 and will then move to the new exhibition space starting in the autumn of 2011. At the same time, to enhance the project further, we are inviting tenders for our own art and architecture competition to design the entrance to the new Kunstforum."

"Bank Austria has always been a reliable partner for Vienna's artists. I am pleased that this collaboration will continue in the future," said City Councillor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny. "By moving the Bank Austria Kunstforum to a new, central location and providing funding for the intercultural showcase project Brunnenpassage, Bank Austria is making a major contribution to the city's cultural life. Special praise is also due to the bank for its commitment to the Nestroy Viennese theatre award, whose significance goes far beyond the borders of Austria and which Bank Austria will be the main sponsor of in the coming year."

"I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the continuation of the Bank Austria Kunstforum, an extremely important cultural institution in Vienna. By expanding the pedestrian zone around the bank's two former headquarters, 'Am Hof' and 'Tuchlauben', we hope to make Vienna even more attractive and cosmopolitan, and we see the Bank Austria Kunstforum as the perfect addition to the diverse range on offer in this newly emerging, exceptional quarter of the first district!" said René Benko, the founder and CEO of SIGNA Holding.

Bank Austria strengthens its position as the leader in arts funding!
Following the realignment of the Kunstforum, Bank Austria will provide even more direct funding for Austrian arts projects in the future. In addition to funding for classical music and the fine arts, support will also be provided especially for young artists and regional cultural projects. "Bank Austria's arts sponsoring has a long, honourable tradition," explained Willibald Cernko. "Thanks to the cooperation partnership with SIGNA Holding at the Bank Austria Kunstforum, we now have considerably more funds available for supporting important, primarily regional cultural initiatives."

Bank Austria creates four new arts awards honouring innovative cultural projects and outstanding achievements in arts journalism
Bank Austria will confer the Bank Austria Art Award in four categories starting in 2011. A prominent jury made up of artists and acclaimed art experts will select and honour Austrian cultural projects.  The award's four categories are best regional cultural initiative, best Austrian project that supports the internationalisation of Austrian artists, best project combining art and social aspects or conveying art to new target groups, and outstanding arts journalism.

"We hope to take an even more active approach to our cultural commitment by conferring these four new arts awards. It would be great if our contribution could help to bring about exciting projects that otherwise would not have materialised," explained Cernko. "In addition to these four new awards, we will of course continue to focus on issues such as 'young talent' and 'regional projects'."

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Wolfgang Steinmann, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52803
E-mail: wolfgang.steinmann@unicreditgroup.at

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