In the presence of 450 invited guests from Germany, France, Italy, and the United States, the 1991 Ecological Eagle award from the International Committee "Artists For Ecology" was presented to the German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher earlier this month.
The Committee is a non-profit organization, in which artists of various artistic orientations from all the continents cooperate. They give impulses and develop activities which serve the protection of the earth, water, and air.
In his opening address, John Zavrel of Clarence, the newly elected president of the International Committee, read a special message of congratulations from President Ronald Reagan. "Congratulations to the prestigious award of the ECOLOGICAL EAGLE from the International Committee Artists For Ecology. This proves that Germany is once again one of the leading countries in the world which gives the ecological questions of our time a high importance. The larger, united Germany will have more responsibility in this field in the decades to come," said Mr. Reagan in his letter.
The Ecological Eagle, in the form of a bronze sculpture from the hands of the German sculptor Kurt Arentz, donated by the Order of Alexander the Great, is an idealistic award, which is not only awarded to the recipient in recognition of his past efforts, but it also obliges him to bring ecological problems to the attention of the public. The eagle -- a symbol for sharp mind, sharp eyes and prudence, is among the endangered species worldwide. The bronze eagle, masterfully formed by Arentz, is both a reminder and a commitment.
With the award of the Ecological Eagle 1991, Genscher joins the previous recipients Ronald Reagan, NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner, U.S. Ambassador Richard Burt, and the German Agriculture Minister Kiechle. This year's award ceremony, which was organized by Art Circle NRW, took place in the Museum of European Art at the Nörvenich Castle near Cologne, Germany.
In his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund, the wildlife photographer and film producer Heinz Sielmann presented a passionate appeal to all men to realize their responsibility for the preservation of nature. The 74-year old preservationist named the population explosion, civilization, and inconsiderate tourism as the main culprits connected to all disruptions of nature.
The decision to award the 1991 Ecological Eagle to the German Foreign Minister was unanimous. The former prima ballerina of the Munich State Opera, singer and entertainer Margot Werner, who handed over the eagle to the minister, praised his untiring efforts by quoting his personal credo "Foreign politics are ecological politics."