The mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando received the Heinrich-Heine award in Dusseldorf

The mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando received the Heinrich-Heine award in Dusseldorf, a biennial award
entitled to the German poet who is assigned to people who have distinguished themselves for their commitment in the social field and the dialogue between peoples “to promote social and political progress, foster international understanding and the encounter between cultures.”
The prize was given, among others, to Amos Oz, Simon Veil and Jurgen Habermas. Orlando is the first Italian to receive the award.

The ceremony, chaired by the Mayor of Dusseldorf Thomas Geisel and introduced by a Lectio-magistralis by the director Wim Wenders, took place on Sunday.

“The mission of Leoluca Orlando to create a bridge between Europe and Africa, in the spirit of fundamental human rights – says the statement – reflects the values ​​of the Heine Prize. Orlando has bravely fought the mafia, leading its city towards a democratic redemption, rebuilding the confidence in themselves of the people of Palermo and
obtaining the prestigious award of Palermo Italian Capital of Culture. ”

In his speech, the director Wim Wenders reconstructed the forty-year political career and the cultural commitment of Orlando emphasizing that “beyond the daily commitment to the social advancement of their community, Orlando has always shown a vision and a perspective with the center cultural advancement as a motor for social redemption “. Wenders has read numerous texts from the Orlando books published in Germany in the last twenty years.

“This award given to me – said Orlando – is actually a prize for the city of Palermo, for its extraordinary journey of rebirth after terrible years of violence and abandonment. This award confirms the international attention for the experience of Palermo, for its extraordinary normality in affirming that culture and culture, first of all that of hospitality and solidarity, are the engine of a harmonious development. This award, for which I am grateful to the city of Dusseldorf and my friend Thomas Geisel, represents a new result achieved and therefore a new incentive to always do better. ”

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