The President of the Hellenic Republic presented the International Awards of Philhellenism “Lord Byron” to former US senator and Secretary of State John Kerry, former French minister Jack Lang and Swiss banker Charles Pictet. The International ‘Lord Byron’ Awards have been established by the Society for Hellenism and Philhellenism.
At a ceremony of the the Academy of Athens on Wednesday, the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou presented the Awards, while Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivered a message online.
Each of the honorees receives the silver medal, a diploma, and a stipend of 10,000 USD which is donated to a foundation of their choice among those that promote Greek and Philhellenic ideals.
“The glory of philhellenes, older and contemporary, remains untarnished through time,” Sakellaropoulou said, while presenting the award during Greece’s 200th anniversary since the declaration of independence from the Ottoman Turks.
The president noted the imagery on the award medal, with its depiction of Lord Byron on the obverse. She noted its reverse, with the phrase from the Iliad (Book 10), “afthitos kleos aei”, “glory that is imperishable,” and said this quality still reminds Greeks that their country belongs to an extensive international field of constant exchanges of ideas and actions. The awards, she said comprise “a small token of honoring those who tirelessly continue the long tradition of philhellenism.”
Speaking of the award, she that as of this year (2021) it is being presented to individuals who looked for guidelines on how to live their lives in Greek ideals, such as democracy, paideia, and individual freedom. “We shall honor three outstanding personalities this year,” she said.
For each honoree she noted that Kerry was a descendant of Thomas Winthrop, president of the Philhellenic Committee of Boston, Jack Lang had contributed to promoting European culture and unification as Education and Culture Minister, and banker Charles Pictet is a descendant of the Picted de Rochemont family, who collaborated with Jean-Gabriel Eynard to support Ioannis Kapodistrias and the philhellenic movement in Switzerland and Europe at large.
The president of Greece presented the medals to embassy representatives.