On the day of the 201st anniversary of birthday of Great poet Taras Shevchenko, President Petro Poroshenko awarded Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine 2015.
The laureates of the prize are: Yuri Buriak - for the book of poems "Not Dead Sea", painter Mykola Kompanets - for the artistic cycle "Land of my Fathers" and illustrations to the works by Nikolai Gogol, writer Kostiantyn Moskalets - for the book of literary criticism and essays "Flashes" and actor Petro Panchuk - for the implementation of the image of Taras Shevchenko on the national theatre stage.
Awarding the prize, the Head of State has noted a significant contribution of this year's winners in the development and promotion of national culture, its integration into the European cultural space. "Dignity, courage and self-sacrifice are eternal national virtues inherent in the heroes of literary and artistic works, the authors of which are highly recognized and rewarded now," the President said.
The President has emphasized that the words of Great Taras were inspiring and supporting Ukrainians nowadays. "In the course of the Revolution of Dignity the words of Shevchenko were also repeated. They sound today as well, in the course of the aggression against our state," Petro Poroshenko noted.
In support of the initiative of radio marathon "Shevchenko mobilizes", the President read a poem "Prayer". "Russian special services are incessantly working to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, to strengthen external aggression with powerful internal destabilization, strife, quarrel. Therefore, this poem of Taras is our guiding light; every day I ask the Almighty to send us unity, brotherly kindness and concord," Poroshenko said. The President is sure that Ukrainians will win "with the wise words of Shevchenko".
He expressed belief that in order to effectively fight against the aggressor and strengthen the independence, it was necessary to develop an effective model of cultural policy. "Culture will become the first guarantee of Ukraine's unity. It will be our weapon in countering the attempts to blur national identity," the President is confident.
At the same time, the President said that culture "is leaving museums and coming to the streets and trenches". "Modern Ukrainian culture is being created by "artistic hundreds" and activists in social networks - modern phenomenon, which clearly reflects the processes in the country. It is important for us to see and support them," the President noted.
Petro Poroshenko has expressed belief that modern cultural policy would become both an instrument to win the enemy and an instrument to implement reforms. That's why it is an important part of the Strategy of Sustainable Development "Ukraine - 2020".
The ceremony was held in Taras Shevchenko National Museum.