18 September 2002
Last night at a celebratory dinner in London, the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath announced the 2002 laureates of the Praemium Imperiale Awards in the following categories:
The Praemium Imperiale is an annual award given by the Japan Art Association for global achievement in the arts. Since its foundation in 1989, it has become a mark of the highest international distinction. The distinguished list of former recipients includes David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Bernstein, Federico Fellini, Jasper Johns, Anthony Caro, Akira Kurosawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Richard Serra, John Gielgud, Ravi Shankar, Richard Attenborough, Pina Bausch, Louise Bourgeois, Hans Werner Henze and Ornette Coleman.
The previous laureates in the field of architecture were IM Pei, James Stirling, Gae Aulenti, Frank Gehry, Kenzo Tange, Charles Correa, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, Richard Meier, Alvaro Siza, Fumihiko Maki, Richard Rogers and Jean Nouvel.
Tonight the 2002 Praemium Imperiale Laureates will attend an event hosted by the former French Prime Minister Raymond Barre at the Chateau de Versailles. Raymond Barre is an international advisor to the Japan Art Association, along with the former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, the former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, and the Chairman and President of the United Nations Association of the USA William H Luers.
At the Awards Ceremony in Tokyo on October 23rd the Honorary Patron of the Japan Art Association, Prince Hitachi, will present each of the laureates with a diploma and gold medal plus an honorarium of 15 million yen, approximately 90,000.
Norman Foster said,
"It is a great honour to receive this award and to join such august and illustrious company, which includes so many esteemed colleagues and friends. I am particularly delighted to receive this honour because I feel such a great affinity with Japanese art and architecture. The time I have spent working in Japan has provided some of the richest experiences of my life. I accept this award with tremendous pride."