Anselm Kiefer was awarded the Grand Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
On 27 February 2023, Anselm Kiefer was awarded the Grand Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his outstanding services to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The award was presented to him at the residence of the German Ambassador to France, Hans Dieter Lucas, by Claudia Roth, Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.
Anselm Kiefer is being honoured as an artist whose work has enjoyed international acclaim for many decades. In his work, he repeatedly confronts German history, in particular National Socialism, war and the atrocities of the Holocaust.
"In paying tribute to Anselm Kiefer today, we are also celebrating a European, an artist whose work never ceases to cross borders, a German with a deep attachment to France. Anselm Kiefer is an artist of international stature. He embodies a post-war Germany that has confronted the demons of its past, including through the creativity of art. At the same time, he represents an art form that deals with major existential issues and has a far-reaching impact beyond Germany", said Ambassador Hans-Dieter Lucas in his speech at the ceremony.
Minister of State Claudia Roth emphasised: "Like Anselm Kiefer himself, his work was born and raised in the ruins of German history. It has never denied its origins in the ashes, rubble and lead - the remnants of history's greatest catastrophe, the legacy of a Germany that has ruled Europe.
"If - after 1848 and the Weimar Republic - the third attempt to establish democracy in Germany was able to succeed, it is also a fruit of the fortunate circumstance that France became a partner again, and above all a training partner, an intellectual sparring partner, very soon after the war. We owe a lot to France - including the feeling that there is a culture beyond the respective national remit."