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New art prize to honour exhibitions

A prize is to be awarded annually for the best exhibition of contemporary Swiss art, it has been announced. The organisers say the honour is the first of its kind.

The Julius Bär Foundation and the Federal Culture Office said they would grant the prize jointly. It is hoped that the move will encourage public interest in art.

The Swiss Exhibition Award is worth SFr40,000 ($36,000), with the sum going to the organising art institution. A 13-strong jury will choose the winner and the first award will be presented in spring 2009.

In a joint statement, the foundation and culture office said that the prize was “unparalleled anywhere in the world” because it honours the efforts made in organising an exhibition rather than the artist’s work.

They said they hoped that the award would contribute to the discussion on what makes a good exhibition as well as heighten awareness of art.

“It is designed to show how contemporary art can both challenge and entertain,” said the statement.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR