Jury for awarding the 13th July awards composed of: President Mr Gojko Kastratović, and members Mr Ilija Vujošević, Mr Igor Lakić, Mr Miomir Vojinović and Mr Asim Dizdarević reached the Decision about the winners for 2017, as follows:
- Mr Miodrag Šćepanović, sculptor, for two solo exhibitions in the previous two years;
- Mr David Kalaj, for special results for the previous two years;
- Mr Svetozar Savić, for the monograph "Montenegrin ampelography".
Speech by President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović on the occasion of ceremonious presentation of the 13th July awards.
“If there is a moment, a day and a fateful hour which gathers Montenegrins, with all their primal differences in national, religious and culture sense - it is the 13th July. If there is a date which gathers all generations from the youngest to the oldest, with all their differences in the existential, class and ideological sense - that is, certainly, the 13th July. If there is a date that all citizens of the north and south, the east and west, are proud of, that is, without doubt, the 13th July.
- The 13th July is not only a date but paradigm of the Montenegrin free nation and the Montenegrin free citizen. That is a thread woven through traditional and modern Montenegro.
The vision that unites a war-time and a peaceful Montenegro. The altar to whom belong all those who value more their homeland than their small interests. Agora where the knights of the round table do not sit, but the far-sighted people who believe in work, progress and the future.
- The 13th July is a legend and a myth that we have lived since 1878 when we gained a confirmation of our independence at the Berlin Congress, and that was not even contested! Who gave us that confirmation and who is contesting it - Prince Nikola Petrović and Montenegro of that time, wounded in another exhausting war, wondered? We had it, and great powers verified it. And who was able to ask and say that except the one who was free. And Montenegro was free back then and today also. But also on the 13th July when it said NO to outstretched hand of fascism and became a beacon of national- liberation resistance and rebellion among the Slovenian, European and world nations.
Far from the fact that Montenegrin historical decisions were always correct, but they were, at the most important moments, fundamental and advanced. Primarily in the First and the Second World War. However, it is not any less historically correct decision of Montenegro to stay aside during the delirious break-up of the SFRY, and even existentially shaken and unstable, it became a refuge and a home to tens of thousands of refugees from the war-torn Yugoslav territory. It is true that we were not burning in the heat of the Balkan hell, but we were choking in the smoke. Or, I can proudly emphasise the important decision of 1999, when Montenegro was again saved between two fires - retrogressive closeness and galloping globalisation. And again, Montenegro provided a shelter and a home to thousands of refugees and proved to be a benevolent partner to the world powers. Back then and also now I have been saying that in every occasion and challenge we have to be awakened, and not passionate. From that sown seed, nowadays, we are harvesting the fruit in Euro-Atlantic integrations.
On all Montenegrin paths, the clear ones and the vague ones, there were people who knew how. Who said where to go. Who, sooner or later, suffered or were rewarded for their views and visions. Who were restrained or motivated in their actions and deeds. It depends on the person and the deed. But then there were those who were, who are, and who will be a mirror and a guidepost of the progressive Montenegro. Scions of old olive and oak trees on whose roots burgeon the sprouts of the modern Montenegro. The intellectual and the workers’ Montenegro. The modern and the timeless Montenegro. Today they have been rewarded. Yesterday others were. Tomorrow the third ones will be... But all of them know well that to take the 13th July Award means to carry the mark of Montenegro. To carry the burden of challenges and decisions... And I am glad that precisely these people: Miodrag Šćepanović, David Kalaj, and Svetozar Savić became the remarkables of the remarkable Montenegro.
I dare say that the work on enlightenment is the greatest task of a society. Culture, science and art make a country recognisable, they leave a permanent testimony of the spirit of one time, talents of one region. Nations with science and art highly ranked in their societies proudly maintain their identities, but at the same time have visionary orientation towards the future development of their societies. A more enlightened Montenegro would be an even more desirable home for all its citizens.
In that name, I thank the winners of the 13th July Award for creating among us, I congratulate them and wish them a long artistic and scientific work and contribution to the long and prosperous progress of Montenegro in the 21st century“.
Presentation of the 13th July Award - Mr Gojko Kastratović
Presentation of the 13th July Award - Mr Ivan Brajović