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Helena Demakova

Helena Demakova - the Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia since 2004 Ð one of the most visible personalities of the restored Latvia, a lover of opera and classical music, whose understanding of culture processes of all levels and attention to the interactions between European cultural events is as nuanced as her feel for the conductor's stroke. Helena Demakova - German language philologist, art scholar, art project curator, the best known Latvian Minister for Culture and a mother of an already grown-up son. Minister Demakova is undoubtedly a very vivid figure among the Latvian power elite. Since 1990 she has been active as a self-employed art critic and curator of art exhibitions, having implemented approximately 40 Latvian and international exhibition projects, giving presentations at more than 20 international conferences and symposia abroad.
Helena Demakova moved into politics at the end of the 80s. Later, at times being a lecturer at the University of Latvia, at times - the manager of very ambitious art projects, she was invited to become the Advisor to the Prime Minister on culture affairs.
Four years, from 1998 to 2002, were spent in the capacity of the deputy of the highest institution of power in Latvia - the Saeima [ Parliament], parallel to that she was actively involved in The New Academy, which was established by the major Latvian patron Andris Skele to grant support to talented young people below the age of 25.
It is hard to tell, which has been the greatest loss: the fact that with Helena Demakova turning to culture politics Latvian and European visual art platform lost the major Baltic art curator, or whether the fact that Helena Demakova only in 2004 became involved in the field of culture support on state level should be seen as a loss. Because immediately after taking the position of minister, the Minister was able to attract impressive funding for culture both for ambitious future plans and for smaller projects determining the quality of the present day. And if within the coming decade the new building of the Latvian National Library, acoustic concert hall, regional concert halls will be built and the Museum of Contemporary Art will be set up in the territory of the former customs port, then it should undoubtedly be considered as Helena Demakova's public and personal contribution to the development of Latvian culture.
It goes without saying that the Minister has an excellent knowledge of German, English, Russian fiction, is a connoisseur of music and visual arts, and in addition to that - the author and editor of numerous articles and books.
The Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia Helena Demakova is on of the first public figure who has brought Latvian culture phenomena on the global culture scene.

Reasons for awarding the prize

This award has been assigned to Helena Demakova, Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia, as an international acknowledgment of her success in developing, increasing and consolidating the relationship between Latvian and European cultures, with particular regard to opera and classic music.
Many other forms of art benefited of the Ms. Demakova's support, and some of her projects and accomplishments deserve to be mentioned, such as the new premises of the Latvian National Library and the Contemporary Art Museum.
She has always been particularly responsive and sensitive to the needs of young artists, awarding grants and promoting performances and contests for them, while being a model of very high professionalism.


Consegna Premio Internazionale a Helena Demakova – Ministro della Cultura della Lettonia


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