Eastern Europe | 24.04.2009
Vaclav Havel awarded Bonn International Democracy Prize
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the award to the 72-year-old at a ceremony attended by 200 guests at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn. It is the first time that the prize, which includes a cash award of 10,000 euros, has been awarded.
"Vaclav Havel is a big name in the European democracy movement," said Steinmeier. "The peaceful developments in Central and Eastern Europe would be unimaginable without his work," Steinmeier said.
"The award is in recognition of Vaclav Havel’s courageous efforts to promote democracy, freedom and peace in his country, as well boosting relations between his country and Germany and Europe," said Deutsche Welle's Director General Erik Bettermann, chairman of the Association of the International Democracy Prize Bonn.
"The Czech author and playwright, the peaceful fighter for freedom and politician, has lived history and created history," said Bettermann as he explained why the jury decided to award the prize to the former Czech president. "He fought for freedom, for democracy and human rights and as a result, spent years in prison."
"I am the first president after the fall of the Iron Curtain who was not thrown out of his country," said Havel in his acceptance speech.
It was the 1989 Velvet Revolution launched Havel into the presidency. He was president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992. From 1993 to 2003, he was president of the Czech Republic, after its amicable divorce from Slovakia.
Today, Havel has returned to writing.
The Bonn International Democracy Prize is to be awarded at least every two years. The prize board wants to highlight the key role Bonn played as the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and as the official seat of government for a united Germany until 1999.
A natural history museum of high rank
Natural history in a new light - Our blue planet is presented in a fascinating and bright way.
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig
(Zoological Research Institute and Museum Alexander Koenig)
Telephone: +49 (0)2 28 / 91 22-0
Telefax: +49 (0)2 28 / 91 22-212
The Zoological Research Institute and Museum Alexander Koenig is one of the biggest and most meaningful natural history museums in Germany. The museum, which was founded by Alexander Koenig, a zoologist from Bonn, in 1912, was closely associated with the foundation history of the Federal Republic of Germany: On September 1, 1948, the opening ceremony of the Parliamentary Council took place in the museum’s light court.
The permanent exhibition of the Museum Koenig is called “Our blue planet – life in the network”. In quite a fascinating way it gives a view into the connections and function of ecological vital processes. Above all the natural representations of different habitats (savannah, poles, rain forest, desert, central Europe, city) will motivate the visitors to deal with their environment.
Tip: Free admission with the Bonn Regio WelcomeCard!
Workshops for children
If your children are interested in animals, the Museum Alexander Koenig is the right place to visit. In special guided tours children get some detailed information on the various insects and animals. Dressed as a butterfly they will get to know the world of the butterflies, and / or with the help of existing animals they will get explanations about the life of dinosaurs.
The museum is in the process of being renovated until spring of 2003, however, it remains open for workshops.
Museum Alexander Koenig
Museum Alexander Koenig