Art You Can Bank On
The Chairman of Banco Santander, Emilio Botin, has pledged his commitment to give €600,000,000 to fund university projects and collaboration agreements with universities, as well as to Universia – the largest network of universities in the world – over the next five years.
Santander is involved with funding projects all over the world from university scholarships and grants to cultural events and the arts. This is part of a company tradition which has been funding projects and promoting the arts across the globe since the early 1970s. The company owns a collection of some of the world’s most famous historic paintings including Picassos and Rubens which are housed in the Banco Santander Foundation gallery in Madrid.
Santander invests heavily in education and the arts; especially wherever it has a presence in the world so following its acquisition of Abbey National in the UK it began investing in carefully selected projects, such as exhibitions, at the National Gallery and the British Museum.
When the Shareholder Department was established it also began helping to fund a number of small ad hoc projects. Over the last few years these projects have ranged from funding initiatives such as the Spanish Film Festival and other projects in conjunction with the Institute of Cervantes in London.
More recently Santander supported the Kingdom of Ife in the British Museum and the Picasso exhibition in London’s National Gallery.
Jose Rojo, Director of Santander Shareholders UK, comments “It’s not all about the large scale projects; the shareholder department is just as committed to helping smaller scale projects.
“One example of this is The Curious Lives of Shakespeare & Cervantes, a play which is coming to the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on 14th and 15th June. Following sell out shows in Australia and Edinburgh we were approached by the production company for financial assistance to bring the show to London and we jumped at the opportunity.
“The show is a witty and energetic romp through the lives of two of history's greatest writers during a time when Spain and Britain started to fall apart from one another, from the royal wedding to the Spanish Armada and when these family squabbles turned into national confrontation.
“I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity to support arts and education throughout the UK. As one of the world’s biggest banks we understand that it is only fair that we give something back and what better way to do this than by supporting young people in education and by sharing arts and culture with the world.
Venue: Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH
Dates: Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th June 2010
Time: 8:00 pm. Show runs for 90mins, with no interval.