To commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the birth of Slovakia as independent state, President Andrej Kiska on January 13 awarded state honours to 10 prominent figures from art, science, history and sociology.
“Each of you who has received the accolade shows us through their work the power and authority of a free spirit, creativity, resourcefulness, civil responsibility, fortitude, perseverance, commitment to one’s case and hard work, but also what is often the hardest thing - being demanding of oneself,” Kiska said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He stressed that some of those honoured worked during unfavourable and oppressing social conditions but they persevered, without ever betraying their ideals.
Now we realise how dangerous the world is that we are obligated to remind ourselves of the fact that the abilities and the power of European civilisation stem from freedom and creativity, president opined. “Regardless of how endangered and insecure we feel, we still live in the best part of the world and during the best times, and we need to safeguard, recognise and promote the freedom and the free spirit,” he added, according to TASR.
The Ľudovít Štúr First Class Order was awarded in memoriam to Milan Zemko for his extraordinary national achievement in the field of historiography. The Second Class Order of the same award went to sociologist Helena Woleková for her extraordinary merit in the development of democracy and civil society. The same accolade was bestowed on psychiatrist Jozef Kafka, and designer and sculptor Štefan Klein. Incoming Slovak Academy of Sciences head Pavol Šajgalík received Ľudovít Štúr Third Class Order.
Ballet artist Augusta Herényiová-Starostová received the Pribina Cross First Class. Three personalities received the Pribina Cross Second Class: musician and composer Marián Varga, writer and translator Pavel Vilikovský and film reviewer and historian Pavel Branko. Composer, concert organist and conductor Ján Valach was awarded the President’s Medal.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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14. Jan 2015 at 10:00