President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation Dr Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor awarded Russian film director, producer and screenwriter Andrei Konchalovsky with the 2016 European Medal of Tolerance.The European Medal of Tolerance recognises outstanding achievements in promoting tolerance, democracy and respect on the European continent.
President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation Dr Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor awarded Russian film director, producer and screenwriter Andrei Konchalovsky with the 2016 European Medal of Tolerance.
The European Medal of Tolerance recognises outstanding achievements in promoting tolerance, democracy and respect on the European continent.
Konchalovsky received the award for his cultural achievements focused on preserving the tragic memory of the past including his film Paradise. In 2016, the film was awarded the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.
“We are awarding him with the European Medal of Tolerance in recognition of his lifelong achievements in art and culture. He has directed operas on the stages of La Scala, Covent Garden and the Mariinsky Theatre. His art is well known all over the world; he has worked in Russia, various European countries and Hollywood”, said Dr Kantor.
“His works are focused on tolerance and reconciliation as important and essential features of our society. Paradise depicts human relations during the Shoa (the Holocaust). Andrei reminds us how important it is to remain human and not to lose our moral compass in times of war”, Dr Kantor added.
“Today, historical memory is facing its greatest threat ever. An enormous volume of information is accessible from an unlimited number of sources, where truth cannot be distinguished from the most fantastic forgery. This erodes our long-held beliefs and, sometimes makes us doubt obvious things”, said Konchalovsky in his address.
The award ceremony was a part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Event at the European Parliament. It was organised by the European Jewish Congress (EJC) under the personal patronage of President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani. The event was dedicated to artists who died during the years of the Shoa and the role of art in preserving the memory of Holocaust. The Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, conducted by renowned conductor Vladimir Spivakov, were guests at the ceremony.
About the Medal
The European Medal of Tolerance was established to honour extraordinary achievements in promoting and safeguarding democracy, respect and tolerance on the European continent.
The ultimate aim is to draw attention to successful undertakings that may serve as models for others in the field of tolerance promotion and peacebuilding.
In the past, the Medal was awarded to His Majesty the King of Spain Juan Carlos I, President of Croatia Ivo Josipović, former President of Serbia Boris Tadić, footballer Samuel Eto’o and the FARE (Football against Racism in Europe) Network.
About the ECTR
The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) is a non-governmental organisation focused on monitoring tolerance in Europe and preparing practical recommendations on improvements in inter-ethnic and inter-cultural communications.
Its renowned members include Tony Blair (ECTR Board Chairman); Jose María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain; Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden; Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia; and Rita Süssmuth, former Speaker of the German Bundestag. Founding member of the ECTR was the late Václav Havel, one of the principal leaders of the democratic transformations in Central Europe.