About the Project
With Thessaloniki at its heart, a new award of pan-European status and scope has been instituted, the Empress Theophano Prize.
With the symbolic selection of the name of Byzantine Empress Theophano —whose contribution was critical in the cultural rebirth of the Western European region— and with the Rotunda for the Award Ceremony —a landmark monument signifying the Roman, Byzantine, Orthodox, Ottoman, and Greek influence on the shaping of Europe— the award aims to:
- Reward individuals or organisations for their contribution to the understanding and strengthening of the modern European Idea;
- Promote, at this crucial juncture, the recognition of the common heritage shared by different geographic areas of Europe and the historic interdependence of its peoples, as well as their importance to current European cooperation and the relations of Europe with its neighbouring cultures;
- Underline and highlight the contributions of the parties receiving the prize, broadening our understanding of the European Union, European cooperation, and our common roots in history.
The idea of the prize emerged from prominent European personalities who, looking back at the historical and geographical roots of Europe, focus their attentions to promoting the contemporary European identity and our shared historic European principles and values. The Empress Theophano Prize is set to be presented annually by the Theophano Foundation in the form of a distinction not linked to a monetary award, following the evaluation of candidates by the two main bodies of the Foundation: the Advisory and the Governing Councils, chaired by the Honorary President of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr Herman Count Van Rompuy, and the Chairman of the Cultural Society of Entrepreneurs of Northern Greece, Mr Stavros Andreadis, respectively.
SYMVOLI Conference & Cultural Management, has since 2019 undertaken the management of the Theophano Foundation, and is in charge of designing and organizing the annual Award Ceremony in the Rotunda Monument.
More information www.theophano.eu
Empress Theophano Prize 2022
The third Empress Theophano Prize aimed to highlight the role of Art in intercultural dialogue, in the figure of a legend of music and a great thinker of political and human collaboration, Daniel Barenboim. To honor his contribution, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a classical music orchestra that consists of Israelis and Palestinians and is considered Barenboim’s greatest initiative, performed inside the historical monument of Rotunda creating a unique and unforgettable experience. Η.Ε. the President of the Hellenic Republic Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as leading personalities from all over Europe, honoured the event with their presence. The award was received by Michael Barenboim, son of the renowned artist and passionate continuator of his vision.
Empress Theophano Prize 2021
The Award Ceremony for the Empress Theophano Prize 2021 focused on the critical role science serves in society and its contribution to the Common Good, in the presence of HE the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou. In an atmosphere permeated by strong emotion and heartfelt respect, the couple who developed the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus was honoured – Dr Uğur Şahin and Dr Özlem Türeci, the two scientists whose unwavering efforts to solve an unprecedented health crisis led them to a discovery that turned fear into hope not only in Europe but all across Humanity.
Moreover, the Theophano Round Table, a new initiative established by Theophano Foundation, was held for the first time in 2021, under the title “Securing Future Wellbeing Through Science”.
Empress Theophano Prize 2020
The Advisory and Governing Councils of the Theophano Foundation in 2020 awarded the inaugural prize to the student exchange programme of the European Union, ERASMUS, an institution that expresses the ideal of European cooperation and mobility in practice, while effectively strengthening mutual understanding through the young people at the core of the very future of Europe. The grand ceremony was conducted under the auspices of her Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and in the presence of Greek Prime Minister, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, participated via remote video connection. The prize accepted, on her behalf, the European Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Mr Margaritis Schinas.