30 August 2016

Humboldtian David Lordkipanidze receives Goethe Medal

The archaeologist and Director of the Georgian National Museum has been awarded the Goethe Medal for his outstanding services in disseminating the German language and promoting international cultural relations.

Humboldt Research Award winner David Lordkipanidze was one of three award winners to receive the 2016 Goethe Medal in the Grand Ducal Palace in Weimar on 28 August. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, the President of the Goethe-Institut, also presented the official medal of honour of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi and the author Yurii Andrukhovych from Ukraine this year.

David Lordkipanidze receives Goethe Medal.

From left to right: Klaus-Dieter Lehmann
(President of the Goethe-Institut),
David Lordkipanidze,
Christina von Braun (Chairperson of the
Goethe Medal Committee)
Photo: Maik Schuck

David Lordkipanidze is one of the world’s foremost paleoanthropologists and archaeologists. The discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old hominid skull during excavations that he has led for more than 20 years in Dmanisi, Georgia, was a particular sensation. The skeletal remains discovered there gave rise to new theories about the early development of the human species and its migration.

Lordkipanidze has received numerous awards over the years, including the 2014 Humboldt Research Award for his life’s work. He works closely with German partners such as the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt which he chose to be his host institute during his stays in Germany as a Humboldt Award winner.

He has served as the Director General of the Georgian National Museum since 2005. In her laudation, the President of the German Archaeological Institute Friederike Fless underscored that “as the Director General of the Georgian National Museum, David Lordkipanidze works energetically and successfully to ensure that scientific findings are explained in ways that the general public can understand. In his view, science does not belong only to scientists. It belongs in the public spaces of museums, in exhibitions and in the sharing of knowledge and information at excavation sites.”

The Goethe Medal was established by the executive committee of the Goethe-Institut in 1954. It honours persons who make special contributions to spreading the German language and promoting international cultural relations. The award ceremony has been held every year in Weimar on 28 August - Goethe’s birthday - since 2009. Goethe-Instituts around the world nominate candidates who are then chosen by a committee comprised of persons from the scientific, art and cultural spheres and the Board of Trustees of the Goethe-Institut.


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