Budapest welcomes national winners of Danube Art Master competition


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Danube Watch 3 2007

Budapest welcomes national winners of Danube Art Master competition

The remarkable talent and creativity of 32 young Danube Art Masters was celebrated in Budapest, Hungary, as the international winner of the competition was awarded to four children from Hungary.

The Danube Art Masters competitions instil a sense of responsibility for the Danube and its tributaries, and allow children to lead the way in raising awareness of the importance of a clean environment.

The national winners of the Danube art Master competition, part of this year’s Danube Day celebrations, gathered in budapest, hungary 9-11 November. The award ceremony honoured the children of the 1 participant countries and declared hungary the international winner.

The winning sculpture, made by four Hungarian children, depicted the Danube Fairy hoisting anchor to collect people’s waste from the river. The message of the beautiful art work was easily understandable: people should join in the efforts to keep our rivers clean. The sculpture was inspired by the Hungarian folk song ‘The wind is blowing from the Danube’ and was made from materials found in the Danube River Basin such as wood, grass and flowers. “We are proud for the International Winner prize, but the fact that we are here now with so many children from other countries fills us with more pride”, said Kitti Ottlakán from the Hungarian team.

Other winning pieces included Bulgaria’s ‘Fishermen’ made from straw, awarded a special prize from GWP Hungary, and Slovakia’s ‘New Island’ made from mud and leaves, awarded a special prize by Coca-Cola Hungary.

Channelling creativity into positive change. After the ceremony, the children and their chaperones took part in a three-day environmental programme supported by Coca-Cola and organised by the Global Water Partnership Hungary and the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and Water. The programme included a Budapest sightseeing tour by bus, a visit to the Tropicarium – Sea World in Budapest, a trip to Esztergom where the children visited the ‘Danube Museum’ and on the last day a visit to the Hungarian Natural History Museum in Budapest.

During the visit to the Danube Museum children had the opportunity to test-drive the Danube Box and challenge their knowledge of the river. In this contest, the Danube Art Masters competed to complete and colour pictures of a river ecosystem and answer quiz questions, and the winners received small prizes. “This weekend is not only a challenge for me but also an opportunity to learn about other people and cultures”, said Veselina Uchkova from the Bulgarian team.

Gyula Hollo, Head of the Hungarian Delegation to the ICPDR, believes that this competition encourages children to learn more about the Danube and how to protect it. “It is also an artistic reminder for adults and the representatives of Danube national governments of their joint responsibility to ensure that the Danube is protected for future generations”, said Hollo.

Monika Jetzin is the Public Participation Danube Task Force Leader
for the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe.