2 Feb 2018 - 19:21
Popular Georgian poet David Magradze has become a recipient of Italy's major national prize after being bestowed the Order of the Star of Italy by President Sergio Mattarella this week.
Magradze was awarded the prize for his share in developing relations between the two countries and learned about the decision from Ambassador of Italy to Georgia Antonio Enrico Bartoli on Wednesday.
The award-winning poet was also congratulated on the event by President of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Friday, who unveiled the news to his social media followers.
Born in Tbilisi, Magradze graduated from the Tbilisi State University with a degree in philology in 1984.
He began publishing poems and collections in the late 1980s, with his works translated into languages including English, German and Italian.
Serving as the Minister of Culture of Georgia between 1992-1995, Magradze also worked as editor for literary magazines including Tsiskari.
The artist has been awarded prizes including the Europe International Medal from Pope Benedict XVI for his collection Salve in 2008, and an international medal for promotion of free speech — along with Albanian poet Anton Mazreku — from the Academy of Culture of Verona in 2009.
A recipient of the Order of Honour of Georgia, Magradze is also the author of the lyrics of the country's national anthem.
He joins celebrated opera singer Nino Surguladze among recipients of the Order of the Star of Italy, which was originally established in 1947 as the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.
Initially awarded to individuals for their share in reconstructing Italy following World War II, it was reconstituted in 2011 to distinguish contribution to friendship between Italy and other countries.