Photo: MTI

Budapest mayor awards honours on Day of the Capital

Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest, on Wednesday handing awards to public figures on the Day of the Capital, said the future of the nation's capital could not be bound up with any one political party or power interest.

In his speech marking the occasion, Karacsony said that in the past cities were protected by walls encircling them. “Today, we are protecting the city by tearing down the walls of hatred, lies, and privilege for the few and opening up a path to freedom, truth, and the majority,” he said.

The city’s leadership is determined for Budapest to be a green, livable, and safe place, he added.

He said the custodians of these goals were “world-class designers, brave artists, determined innovators and entrepreneurs” who embraced good causes. The city, he added, expressed its gratitude to them on this day because their work, expertise and enthusiasm put up a shield against malign interventions.

The title of honorary citizen of the capital went to lyricist Anna Adamis, five-time Olympic champion swimmer Agnes Keleti, Kossuth Prize-winning actor Gyula Bodrogi, head of the Hungarian Evangelical Brotherhood Gabor Ivanyi, and choreographer Ferenc Novak.

The title of posthumous honorary citizen went to Kossuth Prize-winning cinematographer Mihaly Raday, architect and preserver of historical monuments Anna Perczel, and Kossuth Prize-winning poet and literary translator Dezso Tandori.

Pro Urbe Budapest was awarded to the actor Judit Hernadi, the Kossuth Prize-winning actor Gabor Mate, the writer and director Bela Pinter, as well as to president of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association Peter Kirschner and president of the 100-member Gypsy Orchestra Nandor Farkas.

Budapest to celebrate 150th anniversary

Budapest is preparing to celebrate 150 years of its unified existence in 2023 with a diverse range of programmes that presents the capital’s history, Gergely Karacsony, the city’s mayor, told a news conference on Wednesday.

On this very day 148 years ago, Pest, Buda and Obuda were united to form the capital city as it is broadly known today, he noted. The celebrations in 2023, he said, would hopefully coincide with the handover of the renovated Chain Bridge.

Erzsebet Gy. Nemeth, the deputy mayor for culture, said Budapest’s strength derived from its tolerance and pride in its own diversity. Since its very beginnings, the city has been inclusive, she added.

Peter Fodor, the head of the capital’s Szabo Ervin Library, said the Book City programme running in 2023 sought to make the connection between people and reading even closer.

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