ACCIONA and Madrid's El Prado Museum joined forces to cross borders. For the first time ever, they brought together a number of Spain's most iconic paintings to showcase the country's cultural legacy before an audience in Oceania.
This initiative joins other efforts with which ACCIONA, a pioneering Spanish corporation in sustainability and development, underscores its commitment to driving renewable energies, infrastructure, water and other services in Australia.
El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo, Goya, Sorolla and Rubens are just a few of the master painters who, thanks to El Prado and ACCIONA, made their first journey to Australia.
The exhibition "A Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces of the El Prado Museum" was an invitation to Australians to discover Spanish culture through some of the country's most representative art works, at an exhibition staged at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG).
To make the experience complete, we divided the show into three different periods: 1550-1770: Painting in an Absolutist state; 1770-1850: A changing world; and 1850-1900: The dawn of modern Spain.
For each period we highlighted not only the most significant artists of the day, but also their most representative themes, those that set the painters apart from their peers. This enabled visitors not only to follow the stylistic development of Spanish painting, but also to see how different themes and interests came to the fore across the years, broadening art's iconographic domain.
Overall, the exhibition proved to be a thought-provoking exercise on the development of painting in Spain and the internal and external factors that influenced it.
ACCIONA is one of Spain's leading business corporations, a front-runner in developing and managing infrastructures, renewable energies, water and other services.
The Company goes back more than a hundred years; today it has a 30,000 strong workforce and is to be found in more than 30 countries on the five continents.
ACCIONA is listed on the Madrid stock exchange's blue-chip index, the IBEX-35, and is acknowledged as an industry benchmark.
ACCIONA's positioning as a pioneer in development and sustainability mirrors its ability to respond across its entire range of activities to the challenges posed by sustainable development. One of the Company's concrete commitments is to gradually reduce its carbon footprint and to lead a transition towards a low-carbon economy. Accordingly, last year ACCIONA's activities avoided 10.34 metric tons of CO2 emissions to the environment, 36% more than in 2009.
In 2007, ACCIONA became a Benefactor of the El Prado Museum and today we go all out to support the museum's international exhibitions programme.
ACCIONA's presence in Australia reflects the Company's technological capacity and its global influence through its permanent and competitive activity in three main fields: renewable energies, infrastructure and water. The Company has increased its geographical presence in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
In the field of renewables, ACCIONA is currently in the operational phase of Australia's largest wind farm and has just completed construction on its second wholly-owned wind power project in the country. ACCIONA has three wind farms fully operational in Australia: Cathedral Rocks (South Australia), Gunning (New South Wales) and Waubra (Victoria), coming to a total capacity of 304.5MW.
The ACCIONA team in Australian manages a wind power projects portfolio of 1,600MW, and renewables demand (wind and solar) is expected to increase in view of the Australian government's plans to obtain 20% of the country's electricity from clean energy sources as of 2020. According to analysts, an additional 11,000MW will be needed, which means that 18,000 million euros will need to be invested if the government's target is to be reached.
In the water sector, ACCIONA has become the industry leader in Western Australia thanks to being near to completion of the Adelaide desalination plant and through its participation in a consortium that was awarded a contract for Western Australia's most important water treatment plant. At an investment of 1,400 million euros, this plant is expected to be fully operational in December 2012, when it will deliver drinking water for half a million people (50% of the inhabitants of Adelaide). This plant will be fired exclusively by renewable energies. AdelaideAqua, the ACCIONA-led consortium, was also awarded the run and maintain contract for the plant for a twenty-year period.
In infrastructure, ACCIONA achieved a major milestone when it was awarded the 1.100 million euro design, build, operate and maintain contract for the Legacy Way Tunnel Project (formerly known as Northern Link) in Brisbane (Queensland). The deal was a first for ACCIONA's infrastructure team which joined the Company's energy and water divisions in increasing ACCIONA's presence in Australia.
This same project also came as a major step forward because it was the first time in ten years that a foreign consortium had won a major infrastructures project in Australia. It served to highlight ACCIONA's ability to successfully take on national and international rivals. The ACCIONA-led offering was acclaimed for its optimum profits-investment ratio, its considerable technical know-how in tunnel design, its solutions which only minimally interrupt traffic flow and its urban design, which includes the reconditioning of the nearby Botanical Gardens.
For a number of years now, ACCIONA has maintained very close ties with one of the world´s most iconic institutions, Spain's Museo Nacional del Prado. As one of its principal sponsors, we have supported a variety of projects which aim to complement the Prado's traditional style of exhibitions by opening the Museum to new artistic trends and ways of exhibiting its art.
In a further step, we are now honoured to support the Museum's international exhibitions strategy. In today's globalised world we are called upon to share our culture beyond borders, building bridges with other countries and exchanging our knowledge.
ACCIONA is also working in this global context, growing its international presence in each of its main corporate areas: Infrastructure, Renewable Energy and Water Services and taking part in its own cultural exchange beyond borders. As 'Pioneers in Development and Sustainability' and with business in more than 30 countries, we demonstrate our commitment to social progress that, together with economic growth and environmental balance, is one of the main pillars of sustainability.
Importantly, we have always wanted to be alongside the Prado to support this longstanding and prestigious institution to build today the promising future of tomorrow. Now, we are pleased to take part in the Prado's efforts to bring to Australia for the very first time 'Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado', a presentation of its most distinguished masters, carried out in collaboration with Art Exhibitions Australia and Brisbane's Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.
I am absolutely certain that the Prado's first presentation in Australia will contribute to further tightening our countries´ cultural, social and economic ties. We are extremely proud to make this journey together with Spain's most eminent artists, displaying Spain's historic universal values.
Jose Manuel Entrecanales, President and CEO, ACCIONA