The Ministry of Culture has removed the Confucius Peace Prize away from its erstwhile organisers, the China Native Art Association’s Traditional Culture Protection Bureau, and ordered for it to be shut down, saying it had never been given official permission to run the awards.
In a strongly worded statement posted on its website, the ministry said the association, earlier registered under its purview, had taken on the name “China Native Art Association’s Traditional Culture Protection Bureau” without its prior approval. It also ordered the association to disband and to refrain from organising any future events under the same name — or face legal consequences.
Question marks now loom over the future of the awards, and if it will still be held at anytime in the future. Despite conflicting reports in the Chinese press, the show is still going on and the ceremony will continue to take place in December, insists Liu Haofeng, executive chairman of the Confucius Peace Prize. “It is just the removal of the previous organiser,” Mr Liu is quoted as saying to the AFP. Indeed, multiple organisations are now tripping over themselves to sponsor the event, added Liu, while declining to name them.
Earlier, eight nominees were named to be in the running for Confucius Peace Prize 2011 — Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, the “Chinese” Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu, South African President Jacob Zuma, former UN chief Kofi Annan, “father of hybrid rice” Yuan Longping, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Taiwanese politican James Soong.
If the event does happen at all, the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in December. And if it does, let’s hope the winner actually bothers to show up this time. For now though, it looks as though things will be as chaotic as they were last year.
Regardless of whether the show goes on or not, you can take your pick of who you’d like to be the winner of the Confucius Peace Prize 2011 — here at Shanghaiist!