On 20th September in the French Embassy, Jovanka Višekruna Janković, Ivan Medenica and Milan Savić were presented with Order of Arts and Letters, in the rank of knights by the Chargé d’Affaires Nicolas Faye, in the name of French Minister of Culture. Faye reminded that this ceremony pays respect to music and theatre because those are the professions and passions of the ones who receive the medals. At the beginning of the ceremony, Nicolas Faye presented the laureates’ biographies.
Jovana Višekruna Janković, the founder and the artistic director of Art Link Festival expressed her gratitude and said that it is an honour being in the company of the most renowned international artists.
Theatrologist, Bitef artistic director and the professor at the Faculty of Drama Arts, Ivan Medenica, stated that he gives back to France what he received from it. Medenica expressed his gratitude to his family, stating that two years ago he was entrusted with an important responsibility to save one of the most important festivals which enables the exchange between the cultures of Serbia and the world - Bitef. He dedicated his medal to all his associates in the past two years, but also to the festival founders, Mira Trailović and Jovan Ćirilov, who were Francophiles themselves. In his presentation, Nicolas Faye stated that Medenica’s family forged strong connections with France:
- Your parents, but also grandparents, used to live in Paris, which means that, in your case, the connection with France runs in the family. Furthermore, you have translated an important work of French theatre “In the Solitude of Cotton Fields” by Bernard-Marie Koltès. That is a delicate and multi-layered play and working on it satisfied your desire to translate but I do hope that a day will come when a new piece of writing in French will bring you back on that path, said Faye.
A saxophone player, professor, the founder and the artistic director of the festival Belgrade Saxperience, Milan Savić, emphasized that all the laureates have the same aim - to promote culture and quality. Savić stated that there is a natural link between saxophone players and Paris, since that is the place where saxophone was patented and that he is honoured to receive this medal from the French Ministry of Culture.
The ceremony was attended by numerous public figures of Serbian art and culture.