The first international edition of the Celebrity Gala Awards hosted by the Romanian Academy of Rome has rewarded 40 Romanian and Italian personalities ‘who have contributed toward the development of relations between the two countries through social, academic or economic actions.’
This was the first edition of the Celebrity Gala Awards to be held outside Romania. The event was organised by Professional Celebrity and the Romanian National Television Broadcasting Corporation, with support from the Romanian Embassy in Italy, the Romanian Academy of Rome, the Department for Romanians Everywhere of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, and the Blue Air Company.
The award jury, chaired by women’s gymnastics coach Octavian Bellu, with sports commentator Cristian Topescu as deputy chair, selected the winners according to rankings that included Romanian as well as Italian business people, artists, journalists, scientists, authors and doctors. The 40 winners were announced by professor Mihaela Serban, the producer of this television format.
‘The gala tries to bring to the public attention people who get involved in the development of the two countries. Whether they live in Italy or Romania, whether they are Romanians or Italians, these people have mad us feel proud because of their laudable actions,’ Romania’s ambassador in Rome Razvan Victor Rusu told.
Physics researcher Catalina Curceanu, who settled in Italy 20 years ago, was invited to attend the gala and she said she was pleasantly surprised to hear her name among the winners. Actress Ramona Badescu received the award with a smile on her face.
Among the absent winners were Italian actor Michele Placido, Romanian-born actresses Monica Barladeanu and Alexandra Dinu, as well as Romanian footballers Cristian Chivu (playing for Inter) and Bogdan Lobont (playing for As Roma). Among the spectators in the conference room of the Romanian Academy in Rome were also Romanians who make up the first generations of Romanian immigrants.
Professor Gheorghe Caragiani and dentist Horst Balint settled in Italy in the 1970s. They were glad to receive the award alongside Italian journalists who generated a positive public image for the local Romanian community and who were surprised to be recipients of the award, as for instance Il Messaggero’s Corrado Giustiniani.
Of the 40 awards, some went to business people: the Maschio group of entrepreneurs represented by businessman Mirco Maschio, alongside Giulio Bertola, ADV Communication CEO and one of the founders of Unimpresa organisation of Italian employers operating in Romania.