The seventh person to be honoured with the much-coveted Edinburgh Award received his accolade at the City Chambers on Monday 24th March.
Richard Demarco C.B.E and O.B.E, the artist and art entrepreneur, received an engraved Loving Cup at the ceremony, presented by the Lord Provost. Ron Butlin, the Edinburgh Makar, recited a poem commissioned especially for the occasion.
An impression of his handprints has been immortalised on a flagstone in the City Chambers quadrangle alongside those of previous Edinburgh Award recipients Ian Rankin, JK Rowling, George Kerr, Sir Chris Hoy, Professor Peter Higgs and Elizabeth Blackadder.
Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, said: "I am delighted to present the 2013 Edinburgh Award to Richard Demarco, widely regarded as a champion for the Scottish arts scene and especially Edinburgh’s art festivals.
“The Edinburgh Award enables the people of Edinburgh to pay a lasting tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the city, and Mr Demarco has done exactly that through his tireless work to promote and present art from around the world and enrich the art exhibitions of the city, not forgetting his addition of the Traverse Theatre to the Edinburgh scene.
“Richard is Edinburgh through and through and he is a deserving recipient of one of Edinburgh’s most notable awards.”
Professor Richard Demarco said: “I regard this award as an honouring of all the artists and art patrons who collaborated with me to develop a cultural dialogue between Scotland and the international art world.
“I feel deeply honoured but I am conscious of the countless numbers of all those who have helped me and who share my belief that Edinburgh is a nodal point on the cultural map of the world.”
The artist and art entrepreneur, who was awarded European Citizen of the Year in August, is represented in more than 2500 art collections and has been recognised on many occasions for promoting cultural links throughout Europe.
Nominations for the Edinburgh Award are from Edinburgh citizens and the awarding decision is taken by a judging panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives from all political groups on the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.