Quadriga (award)

Quadriga was an annual German award sponsored by Netzwerk Quadriga gGmbH, a non-profit organization based in Berlin. The award recognized four people or groups for their commitment to innovation, renewal, and a pioneering spirit through political, economic, and cultural activities.

The award consisted of a small statue resembling the quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Werkstatt Deutschland presented the award annually on German Unity Day, which commemorates German reunification in 1990. The award was presented by prominent individuals, including Viktor Yushchenko, Bernard Kouchner, and Mikhail Gorbachev.


The award was first given in 2003. For the first two years, the award ceremony took place at Konzerthaus Berlin. From 2005 until 2008, the ceremony was held at Komische Oper Berlin opera house. In 2009, the award ceremony was hosted at the seat of the Foreign Office of Germany.

The announcement that Vladimir Putin would receive the award in 2011 was widely condemned. As a result of protests by Quadriga board members and former recipients, the 2011 awards and ceremonies were cancelled. Likewise, the Quadriga was not awarded in 2012.










Recipients and laudators at Quadriga 2007




Recipients and laudators at Quadriga 2008




An attempt to honour Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin led former recipients to protest in July 2011.

The announcement that Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin would be awarded the prize led to a public outcry.[10] Quadriga board members Cem Özdemir of the German Green Party, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and Heidelberg University history professor Edgar Wolfrum stepped down in protest.[11] Former recipients Olafur Eliasson and Václav Havel decided to return their awards.[12][13] The New York Times commented that from the volume of outcry the ranks of people feeling Putin, a former East Germany-assigned KGB agent and later chief,[14][15] had rolled back democracy and human rights in Russia are apparently quite large.[10] The organisers decided not to make any awards in 2011 as a result of the controversy.[14] They released a statement on 16 July 2011 saying they acted "in light of the growing and unbearable pressure and the danger of further escalation" and that they deeply regretted hearing news of Havel's decision.[10] The awards ceremony scheduled for that October was therefore cancelled.[10][15][16][17]


  1. Award winners 2003
  2. Elisabeth Binder (2003-10-05). "In roten Socken zur Nationalgala". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  3. Award winners 2004
  4. Award winners 2005
  5. "Quadriga-Preis für Kohl und Aga Khan". Der Tagesspiegel. 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  6. Award winners 2006
  7. "Juschtschenko, Peres und Illy". Der Tagesspiegel. 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  8. Award winners 2007
  9. Elisabeth Binder (2007-10-05). "Quadriga mit Königin". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  10. 1 2 3 4 Kulish, Nicholas (16 July 2011). "German Group Cancels Prize to Putin After Outcry". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  11. Радиостанция "Эхо Москвы" / Новости / Пятница, 15.07.2011 / В Германии набирает обороты скандал вокруг присуждения Владимиру Путину премии «Квадрига» (in Russian). Echo of Moscow. July 15, 2001. Retrieved July 16, 2011. Wales is noted as "«Википедии» Джимми Уэйлс" (as: "Wikipedia" Jimmy Wales).
  12. "Olafur Eliasson returnerer hæderspris i protest" (in Danish). July 15, 2011.
  13. "Havel pohrozil Němcům vrácením prestižní ceny, pokud ji dostane Putin" (in Czech). July 16, 2011.
  14. 1 2 "Putin's German Quadriga role model prize retracted". BBC News. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  15. 1 2 Breidthardt, Annika (16 July 2011). "German prize cancelled after Putin choice criticized". Reuters. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  16. "German award ceremony cancelled after outcry over prize for Putin". Deutsche Welle. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  17. "German foundation cancels ceremony to honor Russia's Putin after criticism of nomination". The Washington Post. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
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