The 37th Masi Prize has been awarded to Ferdinando Camon, Christian Greco, Carlo Nordio, Gerard Basset and Cardinal Mario Zenari. Their autographs now embellish the historic barrel of Amarone that is the symbol of the Prize.
Literature, research, constitutional rights, wine and solidarity are the professional fields in which the five protagonists of the Masi Prize excel. Established 37 years ago by the Masi Foundation, the Prize celebrates the creativity of people and institutions committed to promoting the founding values of society and civil living.
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The themes that bring the winners to the traditional private ceremony at the Masi cellars are emotionally affecting and varied, starting with the support work that, by the express wish of Cardinal Zenari, will be funded for three Syrian non-profit hospitals through the Prize. All the citations were met with approval by the entire Foundation, represented by President Isabella Bossi Fedrigotti, who commented:
"This year we have given awards to leading figures who spend their lives in the service of the State, culture and literature, and we are deeply proud of this. These are outstanding personalities, who are an example to the whole country, providing an injection of confidence for its future growth. Not only on behalf of the Foundation and the Jury, but on behalf of all the Veneto, we are once again proud of these awards.”
Referring to the traditional custom of the signing of the cask, the Prize’s original manifestation, Sandro Boscaini, Vice-president of the Masi Foundation and President of Masi Agricola, as well as creator of the Masi Prize, said:
"The philosophy that links the protagonists of the 2018 edition together is the value of know-how, in a world increasingly minded only to comment, not to do. The ancient Venetian saying that says "know how to do it and spread the word" is a key element in the personalities of the winners. For the first time, the "Grosso D'Oro Veneziano" will be entirely donated to the project to support hospitals in Syria, because it is our duty to help the immense needs of this earth. We are increasingly convinced that culture is the key to open doors all over the world."
The Civiltà Veneta Prize, given to outstanding personalities from the Veneto representing excellence in the fields of culture, science and business was given to: Ferdinando Camon from Padua, "a singular example of a provincial writer who is European at the same time", as the Prize jury said; to the director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Christian Greco, from Vicenza, "an Egyptologist and archaeologist of international standing" and to the judge from Treviso, Carlo Nordio, "a luminous servant of justice, never divorced from humanity and a guarantor of constitutional rights."
In another field, the International Civiltà del Vino Prize was given to the Anglo-French Master of Wine, Gerard Basset, “for his the extraordinary career and work."
Finally, the International Grosso d’Oro Veneziano Prize, which goes to personalities and institutions that spread a message of civil progress, brotherhood and peace among nations, was given to Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, "working in the context of a long and atrocious war to alleviate suffering and grief with a humanitarian spirit that transcends considerations of creed or party."
In accordance with the Cardinal’s wishes, the emolument associated with the Grosso D'Oro Veneziano Prize will be used to support three not-for-profit Syrian hospitals (two in Damascus, one in Aleppo), which are open to all-comers, without distinction.
Funds are being collected by the Fondazione AVSI: https://www.avsi.org/it/campaign/siria-ospedali-aperti/1/