Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Turner Prize will be hosted by Derry in 2013

The Turner Prize will be held in Londonderry in 2013, the first of a series of high-profile events earmarked for the city as a result of winning the City of Culture title.

While the venue for the ceremony and the accompanying exhibition has not yet been finalised, the chairman of the Culture Committee, Declan McGonagle, said it will bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city.

The prize was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art and is awarded each year to “a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the 12 months preceding”.

Mr McGonagle said: “This is the first time the Turner Prize will be staged outside of England and is a clear vote of confidence by one of the top three arts institutions in the world that Derry has been chosen as the location not just for the ceremony and event, but also for the exhibition.

“We know that when Liverpool hosted the event when it held the City of Culture title, 70,000 people came specifically to see the exhibition, so we are looking at tens of thousands of visitors coming here.

“There will, of course, be events in the lead-up to the Turner Prize that the Culture Committee are working on that will be announced later, and we are also confident that other equally prestigious events will be held here during 2013.”

While some people initially criticised the decision to enter Derry for the bid and said it would have no relevance to people in socially deprived areas, Mr McGonagle said the needs of all communities were very much at the forefront of everything the team do.

He added: “There has been lots of consultation with local communities and in fact the feedback we get from the communities is the litmus test for whether we proceed with something or not.”

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