Thirteen individuals and organizations have been honored with the European Culture Award in Dresden. Awardees include former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and former VW supervisory chief Ferdinand Piech.
The prizes were awarded at Dresden's Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) on Friday, with 25 years of Germany's reunification as its central theme. The ceremony looked back at special achievements before and after the historical event.
The European Culture Award is given out to individuals and organizations who have contributed towards the idea of a unified Europe.
Tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Romanian soprano singer Angela Gheorghiu were the two soloists honored this year. The organizers also recognized the contributions of actress Kathrin Sass, the British violinist Daniel Hope and a civil society intiative for the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche in Dresden.
Former VW supervisory chiefFerdinand Piech
and former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, who worked towards Germany's reunification, won the prize of honor at Friday's event.
The Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic, led by Kristjan Järvi and cellist Maximilian Hornung were honored in the emerging talents category. 22-year-old Iva Kovic, a Lebanese artist of Slovenian origin, was the inaugural winner of the new visual arts category.
The European Culture Prizes were awarded for the first time in 1993 and carry no monetary compensation. Its organizers include the European Cultural Foundation and the Frauenkirche in Dresden.
mg/jr (epd, dpa)