Ilona Gurjanova, Andrus Kõresaar 2016 winners of Foreign Ministry's annual culture awards ({{commentsTotal}})

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (center) with 2016 award winners Andrus Kõresaar and Ilona Gurjanova. Jan. 4, 2016. Source: (Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser presented the ministry's 2016 Culture Awards to Estonian Association of Designers chairman Ilona Gurjanova and KOKO Architects founder Andrus Kõresaar on Wednesday.

According to Mikser, culture plays a great role in improving a country's reputation. "Positive groundwork laid through culture makes cooperation in other fields easier, therefore we greatly appreciate creative people's contributions to introducing Estonia abroad," a ministry press release quoted the minister as saying.

This year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognized the efforts of Estonian Association of Designers chairman Ilona Gurjanova, upon whose initiative the association put together a traveling exhibit introducing Estonian design called "Size Doesn't Matter." With the help of Estonian foreign missions, the exhibit, which included both designer pieces as well as industrial products, has already visited Belgium, Austria, the UK, Italy, Sweden and France.

The ministry also recognized the work of Andrus Kõresaar, founder of KOKO Architects, who curated the exhibit "Conversion in Estonian Contemporary Architecture." The photo exhibit, put together in 2013, introduces the most exciting and internationally recognized buildings of Estonian contemporary architecture. In collaboration with foreign missinos, the exhibit has traveled to the UK, Finland, the US, Canada, Poland, Hungary, Russia and France.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Culture Award was first awarded in January 2010. Last year, the ministry's awards went to composer Veljo Tormis and Aare Hõrn, organizer of the Obinitsa Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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