NEWS 13/04/2007

World renowned Artist Franco Costa is making paints for Team Shosholoza


Valencia - One of the world's most famous artists, Franco Costa, is painting pictures for Team Shosholoza. The first South African America's Cup challenger will auction them during the visit of Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Shosholoza patron will be in Valencia/Spain on June 9, 2007.

27 years ago Franco Costa was the official artist of the America's Cup and since then he has become an international star. Today his typical multi-coloured paintings are appreciated all over the world. At the moment the 73-year-old Italian is making paintings for Team Shosholoza which will be auctioned during the Celebrity Event on the April 21 and also on June 9 in Valencia. On June 9 the celebrated Archbishop Desmond Tutu will visit the 32nd America's Cup challenger for the first time at their base in Valencia.

Franco Costa says: "It is a great honour for me to paint screens for the most popular America's Cup Challenger. Team Shosholoza brings heart and soul to the sport and I'm happy to be back again at the America's Cup." Also Managing Director Captain Salvatore Sarno is very pleased that the famous star is working for the South Africans. "We got in touch with each other during the Dusseldorf boat show and from the first moment we've been impressed by his warmth and emotion."

Franco Costa, born in Rome, is a virtuoso with paintbrush and palette. In addition to works of art that are highly praised the world over many of his paintings have sailing as a theme. The America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympic Games and many more - there haven't been many other important events for which Franco Costa was not the official artist. His images include landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, flowers, nature and various sports like sailing, tennis, skiing, horse jumping or car racing.

Costa studied French and Literature in Geneva and then Architecture in Paris where he met Picasso and Matisse. At the age of twenty-two he was helping his uncle in Brazil when he had the inspiration to paint. After only a couple of years he opened his first art exhibition in the United States. Years later he worked with famous fashion designers like Dior, Lancetti and Valentino. He went on to work with the United Nations organization for children and during the 'tsunami' he helped to assist the victims of the natural disaster. He was even honoured by US President George Bush and was granted an audience with Pope John Paul II where Costa caused a stir when he gave him a painting in memory of the Holocaust.

Now Franco Costa is dedicated to sailing. He created his first official painting for the 1980 America's Cup off Newport.