The director of Malaga's contemporary art centre (CAC Málaga), Fernando Francés, has been awarded an honorary MBE for his services to UK arts in Spain. His name was on the list of honorary awards for non-British nationals approved by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.
Francés has always been fascinated by British art and its capacity to rouse the observer and attract attention to transcendental issues in a fresh, audacious manner. He is responsible for bringing artists such as Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George, Gavin Turk, Marc Quinn and as many as twenty other British creators to display their work at the CAC.
"What I never imagined was that a consequence of this would be such an important recognition," said Francés.
Non-British citizens enter the British honours system through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office which receives nominations and passes on recommendations to the Queen for approval.
Francés said that the award fills him with "pride and emotion" and is an "incentive to keep going" with his projects.
The British Embassy in Madrid gave Francés the chance to choose where he would like to receive his medal.
"This is due to my work in Malaga, so it wouldn't make sense to do it anywhere else," he said.
The date of the presentation is yet to be announced but it will take place in Malaga City Hall.
Fernando Francés says that his job involves "searching for unique artists". He has found many of these in the United Kingdom and innovative projects are likely to continue to travel from Britain to the CAC.
The next show is only just around the corner. An exhibition by Scottish painter Peter Doig, his first in Spain, opens at CAC Málaga in March.