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German Painter Baselitz Wins Praemium Imperiale

The Japanese Embassy in Berlin revealed Monday that 66-year-old German artist Georg Baselitz is among the winners of this year's prestigious Praemium Imperiale prize awarded by the Japan Arts Association. The jury responsible for the selection included former German President Richard von Weizsäcker and former French Prime Minister Raymon Barre. Set up in 1989, the prizes are given in recognition of lifetime achievements in the arts not recognized by the Nobel Prizes, such as painting, sculpture, architecture, music and film and theatre, and are worth some €114,000 each. Baselitz, who famously paints things upside down, is one of Germany's leading artists. He grew up in East Germany and moved to West Germany in 1957, where his many fans include German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The actual award ceremony is scheduled to take place on 21 October in Tokyo.