Gamal Meleka holds his medal standing next to his winning painting at the City of Soliera in Italy (Photo courtesy of Gamal Meleka)
The City of Soliera, Italy, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the International Biennial of Arts this week, awarding prizes to winning artists. Egyptian-Italian artist Gamal Meleka received the Medal of the Senato of the President of the Republic of Italy at the Soliera International Art Biennial for his artistic achievements.
Meleka is the only foreigner and Italian to receive nine awards from the president of the Republic of Italy.
(L-r) Artist Gamal Meleka, Consul of Egypt in Milan Ehab Abu Sreaa and Mayor of Soliera City Roberto Solemita (Photo courtesy of Gamal Meleka)
Mayor of Soliera City Roberto Solemita, on behalf of President of the Republic of Italy Sergio Mattarella, handed Meleka the award in the presence of an Egyptian diplomatic delegation including Ambassador Ehab Abu Sreaa, consul general of Egypt in Milan and his wife, artist Sahar Behairy, and Consul Wael Talaat.
Also present was world-renowned film director Drago Sttivanovic and a large number of art and media personalities. The flag of Egypt flanked the hall of the City of Soliera Theatre.
Solemita delivered a speech describing the rich and ancient history of Egypt and the cultural cooperation between Egypt and Italy, saying that artist Meleka deserves the medal for his artistic achievements. He handed the medal to the Egyptian Ambassador Ehab Abu Sreaa, who handed it to Meleka.
Meleka delivered a speech, saying: “I dedicate this medal to my beloved country Egypt and to all the people of Egypt and I thank Ambassador Ehab Abu Sreaa and members of the Egyptian community in Italy as well as all my Italian friends.”
Since 1973, Meleka has won many important prizes in the name of Egypt as an Egyptian, despite obtaining the Italian nationality many years ago. His awards include nine medals from the President of the Republic of Italy and three medals from His Holiness Pope John of the Vatican, as well as the Golden Brush of the city of Ravenna, seven Gold Palettes and four gold medals and the honorary medal of the city of Milan (Lamprogino), which is given to one individual only every year in all fields.
Meleka is the founder and commissar of the Sharm El-Sheikh International Biennial of Arts and has been honoured by Khaled Fouda, governor of South Sinai, who granted him the Silver Key of the city.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture