- Inés Powell, official curator of the MET for more than 30 years and specialist in Spanish art, heads the group that has also visited the Castle of Vélez Blanco, whose Patio of Honor, made in ‘Blanco Macael’ Marble, is exposed in the New York Museum.
- This initiative is supported by the official presentation event of the ‘Macael Marble Brand’ in the United States, held in June last year, organized jointly by the Andalusian Marble Industry Association (AEMA, by its initials in Spanish) and the Ministry of Economy and Knowledge of the Andalusian Government, through Extenda.
The official presentation in the United States of the ‘Macael Marble Brand’, a firm that includes manufacturers and distributors of Macael Marble, was an inflexion point in the internationalization, both of the Sector and of the Brand itself. Now, almost a year later, an expedition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where the Patio of Honor from the Castle of Velez Blanco -made of ‘Blanco Macael’ Marble- is located, has come to the Spanish Marble Region.
The North American group, of almost 30 people, has been guided by Inés Powell, official curator of the MET for more than 30 years and specialist in Spanish art, who, after participating in the act of presentation in New York, has taken the initiative of knowing, ‘in situ’, a work and an offer of materials that, by time, have greater international projection.
The meeting’s agenda, also supported by Antonio Sánchez, president of AEMA, has included a visit to the quarries and two companies of the ‘Macael Marble Brand’; one specialized in handicrafts and singular projects and another one, of natural stone transformation, specifically focused on ‘Blanco Macael’ marble.
With this action, it has been tried to show the participants not only the know-how and the great capacity of the Sector for the projects of any size execution in the present but also, the connection of Macael Marble with history, art, and its eternal presence in the cultural heritage.
For the AEMA’s president “it is an honor to receive the heads of MET from New York, represented by Inés Powell, with whom we had the opportunity to carry out one of the most important promotional events of the ‘Macael Marble Brand’ in the United States, with the one that we obtain, without a doubt, a great impact directed to the professionals and prescribers of the construction and decoration”.
“This meeting is, however, of a historical-cultural nature, with visitors from New York, to whom we are delighted to show the origin of marble from the Patio of Honor of the Castle of Vélez Blanco, executed in the year 1.505 by D. Pedro Fajardo and exposed in the MET “. With the activity, it was intended to convey “the importance and great value that, historically, the tradition in the trade of marble in our region has given us, which even today not only lasts but also, the ‘Macael Marble Brand’ is a powerful industry that has become a great international center for the transformation of natural stone, being present in the best projects around the world”, added Sánchez.
After the end of the visit in Macael, the group has moved to the Castle of Vélez Blanco, a singular work of the Spanish Renaissance, whose story, Inés Powell explained in his speech during the event at the MET. Powell, with Spanish background and living in North America, a key market for the Sector, has been given, as a precursor of this activity, a gift made of ‘Blanco Macael’ marble.
‘Macael Marble Brand’ is supported by the ‘Macael Marble Brand Foundation’, a platform promoted by the Andalusian Marble Industry Association (AEMA). The objective of this platform is to act as a promotional and marketing tool for the sector, making the attributes, values and benefits of Macael Marble known at an international level, and ensure that it is recognized as a brand.
Currently, the Andalusian Marble Sector continues with a growing trend, with a turnover of 671 million euros in 2016, 5% more than the previous year, where sales abroad exceed half of the total turnover. In terms of employment, the trend is also upwards: in 2015, for the first time since 2010, the 3,700 direct jobs were exceeded. In 2017, the figure has surpassed 3,900 jobs, according to the Andalusian Marble Industry Association (AEMA) latest data.