Five cultural ambassadors, exponents of the founding virtues of a civilisation that looks to the future, and the embodiments of our region’s finest attributes, make up the winners of the 38th edition of the Masi Prize. Their names have been revealed, and they have turned out to have an increasingly international profile.
The three Civiltà Veneta prizes go to: Roberto Citran from Padua, "a very versatile actor, well known in Italy and abroad for his successful cinema career", as his award citation says; to Piero Luxardo, also from Padua, "a rare example of a businessman who is also an intellectual", the president of the eponymous Venetian company and producer of traditional distillates who also lectures on Literature at the Universities of Padua and Bergamo; and finally, Nando Pagnoncelli, "one of the most influential pollsters; a true social diviner who uses methods rooted in science".
The International Civiltà del Vino prize goes to the Korean, Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian to be awarded the coveted title of “Master of Wine” and one of the most influential critics, journalists and wine consultants at an international level: "Through her work, she has made a cultural bridge between East and West, lecturing about the appreciation of wine, moderate consumption, and wine’s encounter with the traditions and social fabric of Asian markets, the new frontier for our most emblematic product".
The International Grosso D’Oro Veneziano prize goes to Alain Finkielkraut, one of the greatest contemporary French philosophers and intellectuals, whose "commitment and works have made him a symbol of liberty of expression and civil harmony".
“The 38th edition of the Masi Prize has the same dual identity as previous editions over the last four decades: on the one hand, firm roots in the inherited values and culture of the Venetian regions; and on the other, a glance towards the horizon, beyond our own backyards, towards new pathways and new goals. If the winners of the 2019 Civiltà Veneta Prize reflect the geographical bounds of the cultural influence of the Serenissima – from the Dalmatian Coast to the Orobica Marches - the Civiltà del Vino Prize, with the award to Korean Jeannie Cho Lee, is more aligned to the attention the land of Marco Polo has always paid to the Orient. Finally, the historically important Jewish presence in Laguna brings us to the Grosso d'Oro Prize and Alain Finkielkraut, the authoritative French thinker engaged in a civil battle against resurgent anti-Semitism in modern Europe.”
The announcement of the winners comes at the same time as two important achievements for the region and for business in the Venetian regions are confirmed: the award of the 2026 Winter Olympics to the dual centres of Milan and Cortina in Italy, and the recognition of the Prosecco hills by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
“Two hoped-for honours have now been realised, which gives us the chance to reflect on the value of our region and its much-desired place in the world. In short, the international importance of the Venetian regions can be confirmed through their culture and languages, products and landscapes - all universally recognised and accessible. Under the auspices of these well-deserved awards we are delighted to renew the commitment of the Masi Foundation to the values of the Venetian regions, promoting a dialogue between cultures with the Masi Prize, as we have done for the last four decades.”
The awards ceremony takes place on Saturday 28 September in the Teatro Filarmonico of Verona, preceded by the customary, private, signing of the emblem of the Prize, the Amarone barrel, by the Prize’s five winners at the Masi winery.