UNESCO’s “Melina Mercouri” Prize Awarded to Palestinians & Armenians

The portrait and the spirit of Melina Merkouri dominated the UNESCO headquarters in Paris during the event for the international prize “Melina Mercouri: For the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes”, last night. “Melina Mercouri was an actress, a fighter, a woman with political views, who believed that culture is not something special, but that it pervades every human activity. We will remember her thanks to her action”, stated UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova. UNESCO Ambassador of Greece Theodore Passas, speaking about Melina, underlined that with her actions she proved that she was a person with visions and not just someone who was dealing with situations.

This year’s sixth “Melina Mercouri” Prize was equally awarded to Palestinians and Armenians and specifically to the cultural landscape “Battir” of Palestine and to the museum “Reservation of Garni” in Armenia. A special prize was given to the “Wardi Hanifa” site of Saudi Arabia. The audience applauded Greek musician John Vakarelis on the piano and the New Greek Quartet, who interpreted pieces by Mikis Theodorakis and Johannes Brahms.