Eugenio Heiremans
Bicentennial Award
Bicentennial Award 2001: Nicanor Parra.
Bicentennial Award 2002: Gabriel Valdés.
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Bicentennial Award
Home/Bicentenario/Bicentennial Award/Premiado...
October 2000
Eugenio Heiremans:
The first Bicentennial Award
Who got this recognition was Eugenio Heiremans Despouy, a well-known businessman who constantly manages projects for the cultural development of our country. He is a person who represents the spirit that should prevail during the Bicentennial celebrations.

In a pioneer and visionary way, Eugenio Heiremans started in 1958 to buy art works to put them at the Security Chilean Association, an institution of which he was the founder and is the President for more than forty years. That way, the halls, offices and aisles got some of Chile's best painters and sculptors. In 1972 he sponsored a contest to create a mural for the waiting hall of Santiago's Hospital del Trabajador. The winners were the mural group Ramona Parra.

In 1978 he promoted, through Manufacturing Promotion Society, the program "Arte-Empresa", which aimed for the alliance of industries and artists, the former giving the materials, the latter doing the artistic works.

His idea of decorating with art the offices of the Chilean Security Association has not stopped. Now, the Association holds the works of Mario Carreño, Carlos Ortúzar, Mario Toral, Gonzalo Cienfuegos, Carmen Aldunate, Rodolfo Opazo, Benjamín Lira and Concepción Balmes. They are all gathered in the book "Culture and work". In 1995, he gave the SOFOFA a bust made by sculptor Lily Garafulic. That same year paintings were assigned to Claudio Di Girólamo for the Hospital del Trabajador´s chapel in Santiago. In 1997, sculptor Pablo Rivera put one of his works at the Parque Bustamante Metro Station.

His interest also reaches Theater, supporting the work of his late brother, actor and writer Tito Heiremans, and the restoration of the Cariola Theater.

As the treasurer and Founding Director of Chile's Cultural Heritage Corporation he has been a key figure for getting resources and institutional support for the restoration of Valparaiso's Barburizza Museum, the conservation of the collections at National Library's Medina Hall and the foundation of Colchagua´s El Huique Museum, among other projects. Today, Eugenio Heiremans is part of SOFOFA´s Educational Commission, which looks for mechanisms to support Chilean Educational Systems, highlighting national culture. He has been the director, founder, president or assistant of some of Chile's most important companies and institutions, among them Philips, Megavision (TV station), CORFO, ICARE, Radio Chilean Society, La Nacion newspaper and CEPAL. His interest on social issues was made clear by his work as the director of Social and Education Foundation Dr. Hernán Alessandri Rodríguez.

The award that the Bicentennial Commission gives to Eugenio Heiremans is a recognition to his trajectory and legacy, especially for shaping the role that the private sector has on the country's cultural development.


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