14/05/07

Reinhold Würth awarded honorary doctorate by the University of Palermo

Künzelsau/Palermo. Reinhold Würth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts, was awarded an honorary doctorate in art history and museography by the University of Palermo in Palermo, Italy, on 10 May 2007 in a ceremony attended by approximately 150 guests. The honor was awarded to the entrepreneur for his manifold cultural activities in Palermo.

“In my opinion, there are no words to describe how Reinhold Würth reconciles the role of a successful businessman and of a passionate art collector”, said Prof. Dr. Maria Concetta Di Natale, professor for museography at the University of Palermo in her eulogy at the award ceremony in the Aula Magna of University of Palermo. “I would like to thank this honorable university very much for this honorary doctorate: I am accepting this honor in all modesty also on behalf of my dear wife and my 60,000 employees”, Reinhold Würth stated in his ‘Lectio Doctoralis’.

In 2003, the Würth Trusts of the Würth Group concluded a contract with the region of Sicily and the Sicilian regional parliament to restore the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, which was damaged by an earthquake in 2001, and to organize exhibitions featuring works of art from the Würth Collection. In addition, the company supports various art exhibitions and concert events in Palermo.

In 1999, Reinhold Würth received an honorary doctorate from the economic faculty of the University of Tübingen. Prof. Dr. Bernd Engler, principal of the University of Tübingen, also accompanied the entrepreneur to Sicily and established initial contacts with Prof. Giuseppe Silvestri, the principal of the University of Palermo. An exchange between the two universities is being considered.

Reinhold Würth and his Commitment to Arts and Culture

Born on April 20, 1935 in Künzelsau, Reinhold Würth joined the company in 1949 as second employee and first apprentice of his father's wholesale screw trade in Künzelsau. After the early death of his father in 1954, at the age of 19, Reinhold Würth took over company management. In the following decades, Reinhold Würth turned the regional business into a world-wide acting trading company. Today, he is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts.

When he purchased a watercolor painting by Emil Nolde in the 60s, this was the beginning of his passion for collecting works of art. In the meantime, he has an impressive art collection consisting of about 10,500 works of art, among them pictures, drawings and sculptures of Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Alfred Hrdlicka, Markus Lüpertz or Christo.

At the end of 1991, the sponsor of art made his collection accessible to public within the framework of the inauguration of the new administration building in Künzelsau-Gaisbach that also houses a museum. The Museum of Modern Art of the 20th and 21st century is always open to the employees and to public. Every year, it presents three to four changing exhibitions. Another attractive forum for the art collection that was initiated and inaugurated by Reinhold Würth in May 2001 is Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall.