The Presidential Grand Award goes to İstanbul Modern
The 2010 Presidential Grand Award in Art and Culture was presented to İstanbul Modern in the category of Institute of Art and Culture. İstanbul Modern was granted the award for bringing dynamism to the arts by considerably changing the structure of art institutions which are generally limited to a classic approach to exhibiting; for hosting exhibitions and activities at an international level; and for having an original approach to art and culture management.
During the ceremony held at the Çankaya Presidential Palace on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, Oya Eczacıbaşı, Chair of the Board of İstanbul Modern, delivered a speech after having received the award from President Abdullah Gül. In her speech Eczacıbaşı stated: "I am very happy to receive, in your presence and on behalf of İstanbul Modern, this award which has greatly honored us. In the 6th year of its founding, İstanbul Modern has been granted an award which shows appreciation for our efforts, raises our goals, and increases our responsibility. We see this valuable award as a symbol of faith in İstanbul Modern’s improvement and future and look to tomorrow with greater hope. I would like to extend my thanks first to our esteemed President, and also to the jurors, to all supporters, and to İstanbul Modern’s young, dynamic and highly dedicated team."
Eczacıbaşı added that when İstanbul Modern opened on December 11, 2004, not only did the country acquire its first museum of modern and contemporary art, initiated by the private sector, but it was also a dream come true, a dream going back 17 years. She noted that the museum had undertaken a very important mission to show that the art produced in our country today has universal meaning in the global world and to convey İstanbul’s international identity and rich background.
Eczacıbaşı called to mind the fact that at the basis of İstanbul Modern lay the initiative to give İstanbul a museum of modern and contemporary art along with the biennials initiated in 1987 by Nejat Eczacıbaşı, founder of the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. She further noted: "İstanbul Modern was made possible thanks to the interest and support of our government. We are grateful to our Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for helping to ensure that İstanbul possessed a first museum of modern and contemporary art." Oya Ezcacıbaşı also stressed that "the greatest share in the success of İstanbul Modern," which at the time of its founding embarked on a journey full of uncertainty, "was the fruitful and incomparable collaboration of public administration, local governments, and the private sector."