Montblanc gives longtime friend of the arts Cissy Pao Watari timely recognition
The spotlight was on Cissy Pao Watari last Friday at the Ritz-Carlton. She won this year's Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.
The award, presented annually by the pen manufacturer since 1992, is bestowed on patrons who make excellent artistic contributions.
Daughter of the late shipping giant Pao Yue-kong, Cissy is known for her love of arts and philanthropic commitments.
'I'm surprised I won the award. Because I've focused on working all these years, Montblanc is very generous,' she said.
The former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Pao will donate the Euro15,000 (HK$147,000) prizemoney to her favourite cause, the centre's public art projects.
'I worked for the centre for a long time. I think finding sponsorship for art is harder than other purposes because people don't take it as seriously as other topics in society,' she said.
Watari said the government did not sponsor the Hong Kong Arts Centre on a regular basis, so it had to seek sponsorships for its exhibitions and projects. 'Hong Kong is a financial society, so awards are mostly business-oriented. But I'm glad that this one encourages art sponsorship,' she said.