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Martial Raysse, Steven Holl and Giuseppe Penone among five winners of 2014 Praemium Imperiale Awards
Japan's Prince Hitachi and Princess Hanako attend the official dinner of the Praemium Imperiale Prize at Luxembourg Palace in Paris on July 16, 2014. The Praemium Imperiale Prize is an arts prize awarded by the imperial family of Japan. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON.
PARIS.- The Japan Art Association has announced the recipients of the 2014 Praemium Imperiale Awards:

Painting: Martial Raysse
Sculpture: Giuseppe Penone
Architecture: Steven Holl
Music: Arvo Pärt
Theatre/Film: Athol Fugard

The Praemium Imperiale Awards, now in their 26th year, have to date been given to 134 artists including this year's Laureates. Every year, each artist in the 5 categories covered by the Awards, is presented with a 15 million yen honorarium at an Awards Ceremony held in Tokyo: this year on 15 October 2014.

It is the first time that the Awards have been given to an artist from the African continent (Athol Fugard) or from Estonia (Arvo Pärt). While maintaining the Awards' original mandate to select candidates who have made a major international impact in their particular field, the International Advisors for the Awards and their committees have been looking beyond their national boundaries for ground-breaking artists to recommend to the Japan Arts Association.

Previous British winners include David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Chipperfield, Judi Dench, Anthony Caro and Tony Cragg.

Lord Patten, International Advisor in the UK commented: "For me the voice of the South African playwright, Athol Fugard, is a great reminder of the importance of the fight against injustice, while the music of the Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, reaches our inner world, bringing comfort and inspiration. They and the other Laureates remind us that the Arts are not just decorative, they are important because they speak to us about the human condition."

The Honorary Patron of the Japan Arts Association and younger brother of the Japanese Emperor, HIH Prince Hitachi and his wife have travelled to Paris to preside over this year's Awards announcement, hosted by the International Advisor for France, former Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

The recipient organisation for this year's companion award, Grant for Young Artists, was selected by Mr Raffarin and is The Zinsou Foundation of Benin. This extraordinary initiative to bring the Arts to the people of Benin was started nine years ago by Marie-Cecile Zinsou.





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