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Sculptures by Picasso in one of the anniversary exhibitions in Malaga. Ñito Salas
Art and culture, from stage to museum
2023: a year in the news

Art and culture, from stage to museum

Picasso has been the star of 2023 on the 50th anniversary of his death; however the year has also seen numerous artistic and cultural highlights

Tony Bryant

Malaga

Friday, 29 December 2023

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Art

Malaga celebrates 50th anniversary of Picasso's death

Malaga continued to bolster its reputation as an established cultural destination in 2023. The year kicked off with the announcement that the city would form part of Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, joining other cities around the world with important events to mark the 50th anniversary of the artist's death.

The Echo of Picasso. One of the anniversary exhibitions in 2023.
The Echo of Picasso. One of the anniversary exhibitions in 2023. Migue Fernández

A series of events and exhibitions highlighted the life and achievements of the locally born painter. 'Picasso Year 2023' was officially launched at the Albéniz Cinema during a Hollywood-style gala to reveal a programme of activities - including four major exhibitions of works by Picasso and other artists - that had been drawn up by the governments of Spain and France.

Another cause for celebration was that October marked 20 years since the opening of the Picasso Museum in Malaga.

The mayor of Malaga with Bernard Picasso at the 20th anniversary of the museum.
The mayor of Malaga with Bernard Picasso at the 20th anniversary of the museum. Ñito Salas

Art

Calleja returns to Malaga with iconic wide-eyed cats

Javier Calleja with one of his exhibits.
Javier Calleja with one of his exhibits. SUR

Apart from Picasso's year, 2023 also marked the return to Malaga of local artist with global fame Javier Calleja.

His exhibition, Mr Gunter, The Cat Show, was held at the Unicaja foundation cultural centre, while another of his iconic works stood outdoors near Malaga Cathedral.

New facilities

OXO video game museum opens in city centre

The OXO video game museum opened its doors to the public at the end of January. The museum was officially inaugurated by Juanma Moreno, the president of the Junta de Andalucia, and the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre.

In the OXO video game museum
In the OXO video game museum Migue Fernández

Another facility that was incepted in 2023 was the new state-of-the-art Mirador del Carmen Auditorium and exhibition centre in Estepona.

Malaga further pinned itself on the artistic scene with the opening of new cultural facilities, while others marked anniversaries, or were acknowledged for their contributions. One important anniversary came in May, when the Interactive Music Museum (MIMMA), a museum where visitors are encouraged to play the instruments, marked two decades. The museum boasts more than a thousand musical instruments from all over the world, making it one of the best collections in Spain.

The Rock Factory, the modern music school that opened in San Pedro Alcántara in 2015, was voted best music school in Spain by the Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards, which honours the best companies in their respective fields.

Music

Robbie Williams among star acts at Costa festivals

Robbie Williams on stage in Fuengirola.
Robbie Williams on stage in Fuengirola. Hugo Cortés

Making its mark once again as a top music festival destination, the province has enjoyed festivals presenting a variety of genres.

Some of the top international bands and musicians stopped off in Malaga for performances at the province’s top five music festivals.

These included Gloria Gaynor and Bonnie Tyler, who performed at the Sabatic Fest; Tom Jones, Rod Stewart and Iggy Pop, at Starlite Marbella; and Robbie Williams and UB40 at the Marenostrum Fuengirola cycle. Marbella arena presented celebrated artistes such as The Jacksons and Chris de Burgh, while Florence and the Machine headlined the Cala Mijas Festival, all of which made Malaga a benchmark for musical activities.

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