Georgian professor David Lordkipanidze honoured with German state prize

The Goethe Medal is awarded for contribution to cultural, educational and scientific relations between Germany and their native countries. Photo from Goethe Institute/Loredana La Rocca., 15 Jun 2016 - 18:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian National Museum general director David Lordkipanidze has been honoured with a state award from Germany for his contribution to cultural relations between Germany and his native country.

Judges of the Goethe Medal, a German state award, selected the Georgian archaeologist for the honour, which is presented to three people annually.

The prize, awarded by a special commission of the Goethe Institute, is bestowed upon three non-German candidates every year for their "outstanding service for the German language and for international cultural relations".

Lordkipanidze was selected for this year's award alongside Nigerian photographer and curator Akinbode Akinbiyi and Ukrainian author and translator Yurii Andrukhovych. The three recipients will be officially handed their prizes at a special ceremony in Weimar, Germany on August 28.

Professor Lordkipanidze's work promoting cultural and educational cooperation between Germany and Georgia was noted by the award’s jury in their announcement of this year's laureates:

David Lordkipanidze, an archaeologist and director of the Georgian National Museum, is networked with academics and museum strategists worldwide. He initiated numerous international collaborations, including those with renowned German cultural and educational institutions such as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which were accompanied by an active exchange of scientists, museum experts as well as exhibits," said the judges.

David Lordkipanidze led the Dmanisi archaeological work in Georgia's south that resulted in ground-breaking discovery of human fossils dated back 1.8 million years. Photo from the Travelling Museum PH.

The awards ceremony will be held within the Weimar Culture Festival, and the three award-winners will be presented by experts familiar with their work.

The theme of this year's award is Migration of Cultures – Cultures of Migration. The award jury noted the three recipients "rendered outstanding services to cultural exchange between their home countries and Germany".

Established by the executive committee of the Goethe Institute in 1954, the Goethe Medal was acknowledged as a German state decoration in 1975.

Since 2009 the awards ceremony has been held in Weimar on August 28 to mark the birthday of famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

Since its first awarding in 1955, 341 figures from 63 countries have been honoured with the prize.

Some of the well-known laureates of the medal include pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, Georgian writer and philosopher Givi Margvelashvili and Hungarian film director Istvan Szabo.

Lordkipanidze's fruitful scientific and educational work has already earned him another prestigious German award. Last year he was honoured with the Alexander von Humboldt Prize from Germany's Humboldt Foundation.

In 2007 Lordkipanidze became a Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.

Lordkipanidze has led the Dmanisi archaeological work in Georgia's south that resulted in the ground-breaking discovery of early hominids dating back 1.8 million years. He has also led the Georgian National Museum, the umbrella organisation managing museum venues across Georgia, in various local and international projects and collaborations.