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Princess of Asturias Awards

07/01/2009

Six of the eight International Awards bestowed by the Prince of Asturias Foundation have been announced, marking the 29th year of the Awards

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The Prince of Asturias Awards for Sport and Concord will be bestowed in September

The 2009 Prince of Asturias Awards Juries met in Oviedo during May and June, except for the Sports and Concord Juries, which are to meet in September.

Extracts from the minutes of the Jury

The Jury for the Arts inaugurated the twenty-ninth year of the Prince of Asturias Awards, bestowing the accolade on the British architect Norman Foster, "whose work of universal scope combines aesthetic quality, intellectual reflection and a dialogue between territory and citizens via an original mastery of space, light and matter (...)" as stated in the Minutes of the Jury.

The Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation was bestowed on the World Health Organisation. As the Minutes state, "The Jury has prized the capacity of the WHO, as a specialized body of the United Nations, to play a leadership role in crucial health issues within the context of a changing world. The Jury has likewise taken into account its capacity to set the agenda for research in health matters, establish standards and formulate policies that combine both ethical and scientific principles, as well as providing technical support to those countries in need (...)".

The Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences was conferred on British naturalist David Attenborough "(...) His interest in the problems of our times, his permanent pursuit of excellence and the quality of his research have earned him the acknowledgement of the international academic community as well as making him a figure of great social renown thanks to the dissemination of his work in the major media, especially television. For all these reasons, Sir David Attenborough's work is considered one of the great contributions to the defence of life and the conservation of our planet".

The Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities was bestowed on the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) "(...) which generously gave refuge to illustrious personalities in exile from post-war Spain, has fostered powerful currents of humanistic, liberal and democratic thought in America and has extended its decisive influence by creating an extraordinary variety of institutions that broaden the academic world and link it to the society they serve".

The Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research went to the US researchers Martin Cooper and Raymond Samuel Tomlinson, considered the fathers of the mobile telephone and e-mail, respectively. "These two findings are amongst the greatest innovations in our time and have revolutionized the way thousands of millions of people all over the world communicate, contributing decisively to the advancement of knowledge (...)".

Finally, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature has been bestowed on Albanian writer Ismail Kadare "for the beauty and profound commitment of his literary works. (...) Giving life to old myths through new words, he expresses all the grief and dramatic load of conscience. His commitment is rooted in the great literary tradition of the Hellenic world, which he projects onto the contemporary stage as an open condemnation of any form of totalitarianism and in defence of reason", according to the Minutes of the Jury.

Each of the Prince of Asturias Awards, which date back to 1981, is endowed with 50,000 Euros, a commissioned sculpture donated by Joan Miró, a diploma and an insignia. The awards will be presented next autumn in Oviedo at a grand ceremony chaired by H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias.

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