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The CEREC/Financial Times Award for Outstanding Sponsorship of Heritage in Europe has been won by Fondation BNP Paribas

Fondation BNP Paribas wins CEREC/Financial Times Sponsorship Award

Award Recognizes Foundation's Support for Baroque Music in Latin America

The CEREC/Financial Times Award for Outstanding Sponsorship of Heritage in Europe has been won by Fondation BNP Paribas this year at an awards ceremony in Barcelona. Bestowed by a jury of economists, politicians and European cultural administrators, the award this year focused on cultural sponsorship which fosters a context of "sustainable economic and social development".

Fondation BNP Paribas was chosen from a shortlist of five European enterprises for its loyal and proactive support for the "Chemins du Baroque en Amerique Latine" program for the rediscovery of Baroque music in Latin America, so far covering Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia and Uruguay.

This exceptional cultural cooperation program was launched almost ten years ago by the K617 record label in partnership with various public bodies and French and Latin American organizations, including the Fondation Paribas (now the Fondation BNP Paribas). The aim of the initiative is to foster the revival of a forgotten musical heritage from the Latin America's colonial past.

Rejecting an elitist approach, the promoters of "Les Chemins du Baroque" have focused on exchanges and cooperation between Latin American and European countries with the support of AFAA (association française d'action artistique) and of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Initiatives include the creation of music schools, workshops for the manufacture of musical instruments, restoration of antique organs, training of Latin American organists, and support in the organization of events such as the Missiones de Chiquitos festival in the famous Amazonian Jesuit missions, today twinned with the Sarrebourg Festival in Lorraine.

Praising the exemplary commitment of BNP Paribas, the Jury of the CEREC/Financial Times Award made special mention of the challenge this program entailed. "Les Chemins du Baroque" demonstrated that a cultural initiative carried out with the respect of local populations and their history could have a positive, sustainable cultural and economic impact on the countries involved, while at the same time revealing to music-lovers across the world this forgotten corner of our common past. To date 35 CDs have been produced within the scope of the program, with over 350,000 copies distributed to 40 countries across the globe. These CDs represent the living memory of a bygone age, the story of which has been widely reported by the media.

Alain Pacquier, the managing director of K617, has also written a book about this fascinating program, published in France by Editions Fayard.

Actively promoted by BNP Paribas units in Europe and Latin America, Les Chemins du Baroque has benefited from a 535,000 euro grant from the Fondation. BNP Paris employees have been closely associated with the various phases of the program.

Fondation BNP Paribas, Martine Tridde (tel. 33 1 42 98 07 68)

About the CEREC/Financial Times Sponsorship Award

The European Committee for Business, Arts and Culture (CEREC) was founded in 1991. It comprises a number of national corporate sponsorship organizations in Europe, including Admical in France, AEDME in Spain and Arts and Business in the United Kingdom.

Each year since 1996, CEREC in partnership with the Financial Times has given an award to an enterprise with the most outstanding European corporate patronage initiative for a given theme.

Reflecting the World Bank's focus on linking culture and sustainable development, the CEREC/FT Award in 2000 recognized an enterprise whose sponsorship strategy promoted economic and social development.

Jury Chairman: H.R.H. Jaime de Marichalar, Duke of Lugo, Chairman, Fundacion Winterthur
Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament
Jose Cercos, Chairman and CEO, Winterthur Group
Carlos Guell de Sentmenat, Chairman, AEDME
Frederico Major Zaragoza, Chairman, Scientific Committee, Fundacion Areces
Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Antony Thorncroft, Editorial writer, Financial Times

Colin Tweedy, Chairman of CEREC and Managing Director of Arts and Business