Thursday 29th July 2004

Afewerk Tekle Awarded Honour


Well known Ethiopian artist, the Honourable Maître Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle has been honoured with two prestigious awards by two prominent international institutions.


In a ceremony held on 10th July 2004 in Dublin, Ireland at the 30th Anniversary of the International Congress for the Arts, Culture and the Sciences, the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England awarded Maître Artiste Afewerk Tekle the ‘Da Vinci Diamond’ for his contribution to the wealth of human learning and advancement of society through his art. At the same venue the United Cultural Convention of the United States of America awarded the artist the ‘Valiant International Peace Prize’ for his efforts in promoting global harmony through his artistic achievements.


The ‘Da Vinci Diamond’, an award named after the artist Leonardo Da Vinci, is designed to acknowledge and reward individuals who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields and whose work has contributed to the advancement of society in their local, national or international arenas. Afewerk is also the first African artist to receive the award.


In a statement honouring the Ethiopian artist as the recipient of the ‘Da Vinci Diamond’, the International Biographical Centre declared that in bestowing the award on Maitre Artist Afewerk Tekle, “we merely pay homage in a unique way to one of the brightest stars in the fine arts in our firmament.”


The “International Peace Prize” - a prodigious award from the United Cultural Convention of the USA which seeks to “celebrate the work of individuals who are achieving results across cultural, religious, ethnic and political divisions for peace and justice” - was also bestowed on Afewerk at the same occasion. Afewerk Tekle received this award for his “outstanding work of art devoted to human unity and the spirit of African independence throughout his lifelong creative outputs and the international recognition he has achieved.”


Afewerk studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in the University of London. Upon his return to Addis Ababa, he held a one-man exhibition at the Municipality Hall in 1954, the first significant art exhibition of its kind in post-war Ethiopia. He has been nominated Laureate of the Biennale, an honour that carried with it the Grand Cordon with the Easel of Gold, and membership of the French International Academy of Arts. In 2000, he was one of the few chosen as World Laureate of the American Biographical Institute at the 27th International Congress Millennium on the Arts and Communication in Washington DC.