The Town Hall of Soller was packed yesterday for the ceremony at which the late artist Juli Ramis was named an Illustrious Son. The defence of the artist's nomination was made by Joan Oliver “Maneu”, a gallery owner and close friend and collaborator of Ramis. Presiding the ceremony, in addition to the Mayor and the town council, were the artist's widow, Joan Bernadette Foster, also an artist, his two daughters Julia and Jeronima, and grand-daughter Michelle. Also present was another Illustrious Son of Soller, Pere A Serra (a friend and collaborator of Ramis) and representatives of the leading cultural associations of the Valley of Soller, military authorities, the Mayor of Fornalutx Salvador Sastre and many friends of the artist. In his speech, Joan Oliver “Maneu” gave a brief biography of the artist, from his birth in Soller in 1909 to his death in Palma on March 13, 1990, shortly after receiving the Gold Medal of the Balearic Community. In 1988 he had been awarded the Medal of the Balearic parliament. Joan Oliver spoke of Ramis's evolution as an artist and a person, with special reference to the innovative character of his art and all the people of the world of culture with whom he came into contact throughout his artistic life. Ramis took an interest in art from early childhood and had his first exhibition when he was only 17. He moved to Barcelona in 1928, and after a brief stay in Madrid, he went to Paris in 1931. A scholarship from the Republican government enabled him to study art in Madrid and after the Spanish Civil War he and his family moved to Tangier. He also spent long periods in Paris and London, finally returning to Majorca in 1971. During his career he came into contact with artists such as Picasso and Wilfredo Lam and poets Federico Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda. Following Joan Oliver, the spokesmen of the political parties represented on the council all spoke in praise of Ramis. The last speaker was Ramon Socias, who said that this recognition of Ramis arrived late. The proposal was approved unanimously and a diploma was presented to the artist's widow.