On Friday November 21, 2014, the Quai Branly Museum hosted the 6th annual awards ceremony for the Fondation Chirac Prize in the Claude Lévi-Strauss auditorium.
After a standing ovation for President Jacques Chirac, accompanied by François Hollande, President of the French Republic, Stéphane Martin, President of the Quai Branly museum, inaugurated the ceremony.
Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, President of the Culture and Diversity foundation, with whom the Fondation Chirac created the Culture for Peace Prize and organized its first award ceremony, presented its laureate: Clowns Sans Frontières (Clowns Without Borders).
Christophe Blandin-Estournet, President of the association, went onstage to receive the Culture for Peace Prize in the name of Clowns Sans Frontières, from the hands of Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. He gave a moving speech, highlighting the commitment and altruism of the CSF’s volunteer artists who, over the past 20 years, have traveled around the world to bring smiles back to the faces of victims of war.
Christine Albanel, Deputy Chairman of the Orange foundation, retraced the career of Denis Mukwege, the 2013 laureate of the Conflict Prevention Prize and the 2014 laureate of the Sakharov Prize – awarded by the Parliament of the European Union. Next, Alain Juppé presented Amira Yahyaoui, the young Tunisian laureate of the 2014 Prize for Conflict Prevention.
Amira Yahyaoui gave a remarkable speech, applauding Tunisia’s progress all the while underlining the fact that democracy cannot be sustained if the economic situation does not improve. She also talked of France’s role and its ties with Tunisia, stating that France should help Tunisia maintain its democratic achievements.
President of the French Republic, François Hollande, closed the ceremony with a speech in honor of President Chirac’s efforts and touching on current events around the globe: Tunisia, Libya, the Ebola virus, and global warming. He also declared that the tax on airline tickets, known as the “Chirac tax”, would be maintained and expanded. The news was warmly greeted by the Fondation Chirac. Finally, he saluted both laureates, sitting next to the Fondation Chirac Jury members and the creation of the Culture for Peace Prize. “The best way to prevent conflicts and to save the planet is to promote culture.”