Entertainment & Arts

Antony Gormley among winners of world's richest arts prize

Antony Gormley, Francis Ford Coppola, Placido Domingo
Image caption Antony Gormley is honoured alongside Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and Spanish Tenor Placido Domingo

Sculptor Antony Gormley, director Francis Ford Coppola and singer Placido Domingo are among the laureates for this year's Praemium Imperiale awards, the world's richest arts prize.

British architect Sir David Chipperfield and painter Michelangelo Pistoletto make up the five laureates awarded by The Japan Art Association.

They each receive a 15 million yen (£95,000) prize.

The laureates will travel to Japan in October for the formal awards ceremony.

The global awards, which were launched 25 years ago, reward five artists for their international impact in the specialist fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and theatre/film.

The laureates are described as "the most important voices in the arts in the late 20th and early 21st Century".

'Particularly gratifying'

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten, who is the UK adviser for the prize, said: "Every year we are delighted to honour five more remarkable artists but it is particularly gratifying to have British sculpture and architecture so well represented in this 25th anniversary year."

Antony Gormley has won numerous awards for his work. In 1994 he was awarded the Turner Prize and in 1997 he was given an OBE for his services to sculpture. He became a Royal Academician in 2003.

Speaking at his studio in London, Gormley said it was an honour to accept the award saying "I owe Japan a lot.''

He pointed out the similarities between the UK and Japan as "cultures that live in a small group of islands.''

``We share a kind of social repression," he continued. "The stiff upper lip might be shared by a Samurai warrior as well as a Victorian member of Parliament.

"But underneath that reserve there is enormous passion and intelligence, and often that's expressed in very, very extraordinary ways."

Modernist architect Sir David Chipperfield has designed award-winning buildings around the world including Berlin's Neues Museum, The Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire and Turner Contemporary in Margate.

He was knighted in 2010 and a year later was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Other previous winners of the award include actress Dame Judi Dench, sculptor Anish Kapoor and artist David Hockney.

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