The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award was presented this month to Bangladeshi Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani in a ceremony held at Alserkal Avenue's Concrete in Dubai. This is the first time the event, hosted by Montblanc Cultural Foundation chairmen Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, was held in the Middle East.
A view of the event at Concrete in Alserkal Avenue
The Samdanis were awarded a Montblanc trophy for founding the Samdani Art Foundation, a Dhaka-based private arts trust now in its sixth year, and the three-edition-old Dhaka Art Summit. “It’s an honour for us to receive this prestigious award for something that Rajeeb and I hold close to our hearts,” said Nadia Samdani. The couple also received a €15,000 donation for the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, which is where the Dhaka Art Summit takes place every two years and will run from 2 to 10 February next year.
Speaking at the occasion, Bardaouil said, “We’re delighted to honour Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani for their invaluable contribution to the arts, and to celebrate the newly established Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award for the region.” At the event, guests revelled in live calligraphy and view the latest limited-edition Montblanc Patron of Art edition, dedicated to Scipione Borghese, a 17th century art collector and noted patron of Baroque art.
Live calligraphy at the event
The Samdani Art Foundation has been instrumental in promoting contemporary art across Bangladesh and placing the country and South Asian region’s artists and architects on the global map with initiatives such as the Samdani Art Award for emerging talent. “The Samdani Foundation has helped many emerging artists and we’re grateful to the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award for acknowledging the efforts and commitment of everyone involved,” Nadia Samdani added.
The Samdanis are among this year’s 17 winners recognised for championing the arts by a jury of experts and practitioners handpicked by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation. “The Montblanc Cultural Foundation is dedicated to recognising the significant efforts of those who strive to make art and culture more accessible to a wider public and we look forward to continuing this development across the flourishing art scenes within these diverse regions,” stated Bardaouil.
Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani with the Montblac trophy
Since its inception in 1992, the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award has recognised those championing the arts, and this year’s winners include media mogul Wang Zhongjun from China and Russian curator Joseph Backstein. Italian architect Renzo Piano and Japanese architect Yoko Ono are among those who’ve previously bagged the award.
For more information visit Montblanc.com.