The Medal of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The gala awarding ceremony – 12 June 2017 at SACROEXPO. The Medals are presented to Claudia Henzler, Father Professor Michał Heller and Father Tomas Halik

The gala awarding ceremony of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Per Artem Ad Deum Medal presented by the Pontifical Council for Culture will be held within the scope of the International Exhibition of Church Construction, Church Fittings and Furnishings and Religious SACROEXPO.  The Medal has been presented for achievements  which largely contribute to the  promotion of dialogue between the diversity of cultures in the contemporary world and thus promote man as an individual. The Medal fellowship includes Ennio Morricone, Mario Botta, Krzysztof Zanussi, Wojciech Kilar and many other outstanding artists.

The Per Artem ad Deum Medal has been awarded for thirteen years at Targi Kielce staged gala ceremony.  The medal laureates are presented the distinction by the Chapter members and the church high-ranking dignitaries. The medal has been awarded since 2005; since then it has been recognised as a very special distinction for artistic milieus whose works relate to to spiritual life and the Church.  This year the Medal Chapter is chaired by HE Bishop Marian Florczyk. The Per Artem ad Deum Medal has been bestowed upon the three people who represent different fields of art and science:

SACROEXPO proudly presents Claudia Henzler as the 2017 winner of the prestigious art medal „Per Artem ad Deum“. The medal is a sign of acknowledgement from the Vatican for Claudia Henzlers „insightful and creative perception of man’s beauty, diversity and uniqueness“ which helps promote the dialogue of cultures through art.

Claudia Henzler is a renown photo artist and peace award winner who connects people of all backgrounds and cultures. Through photography, exhibitions and workshops she sets impulses to open communication, broaden horizons and deepen mutual appreciation and understanding.
Born in Heidelberg, Germany, and having traveled to over 50 countries, she presently lives in Salzburg, Austria, from where she takes on assignments in Europe and around the globe.


In recognition of “a constant struggle with questions of great magnitude which help to understand the universe essence” – the Medal is presented to Professor  Michał Kazimierz Heller – a Catholic priest, theologian and professor of theology is presented the Medal. Professor Heller specialises in  natural philosophy and physics, his scientific  interests include the science and faith relations. In recognition of his achievements, Professor Heller was awarded the Templeton Prize. Fr Heller is employed at the Vatican Observatory. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.


The Pontifical Council Medal is also presented to the Czech Catholic priest, philosopher, psychologist and theologian – Tomas Halik “for the testimony truest faith demonstrated in the world perception through people’s eyes”. The Chapter’s justification reads that Fr Halik is recognised for his involvement in social life, for his public statements on racial discrimination issues. He has also worked as an addiction therapist with alcohol and drug addicts. Until 1989, he had been an important figure at the Czech Catholic Church’s anti-communist underground.


2016’s Per Artem ad Deum gala awarding ceremony

Stanisław Niemczyk designed the extraordinary World Youth Days altar

The Per Artem ad Deum laureate presented at the Sacroexpo is the “church without borders” creator

oltarz_Brzegi_Niemczyk_1“This is a church without walls; these days this church will include and encompass the whole world” – Stanisław Niemczyk, the architect spoke about World Youth Day altars designs for Blonie and Brzegi. This is a great honour for an artist to become engaged and involved in WYD through his artistic work.

In 2011 Stanisław Niemczyk
by the resolution of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Medal Chapter was awarded the Per Artem ad Deum Medal. The artist is called “Polish Gaudi”. Mr Niemczyk laureaci_2011-300x199is the creator of most significant churches. He has also been awarded the Honorary Award of SARP,  Pope John Paul II’s award – Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. The two, most famous projects are the churches dedicated to Jesus Christ the Redeemer in Czechowice (1995-1998 – one of the Polish architecture icons) and the tent-shaped church of the Holy Spirit in Tychy (1979-1983). Since 2000 yet another extraordinary Niemczyk’s design has been executed  – the Franciscan monastery and church ensemble.

The Papal Medal bestowed for the twelfth time

SACROEXPO traditionally features the awarding ceremony of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Medal “Per Artem at Deum”.  This year it was held on 20 June.  The Medal Chapter chaired by Fr. Bishop Marian Florczyk PhD resolved to include the following artists to the Medal fellowship:  Antonina Krzysztoń – Polish singer, composer and songwriter;  Arvo Pärt – Estonian composer of choral and instrumental music and   Arnaldo Pomodoro – an Italian sculptor and goldsmith.

Antoni20160620-DSC_2524a Krzysztoń, personally received the award; at the ceremony she could not conceal her emotions.

 The first word that comes to mind is gratitude (…)  I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to sing, for the fact that on my way of life I have met so many wonderful people  – said Antonina Krzysztoń during the ceremony.

Arvo Pärt was unable to visit Kielce owing to some other commitments. The audience was assured that he will come to receive the Medal next year.  Arnaldo Pomodoro wrote in his open letter:   –  I believe in this complex and chaotic period, in the times of liquid modernity and social uncertainty we need to find an authentic dimension of humanity filled with the deepest spiritual values”. He also added that ” the idea of spirituality is essential in art “ .

During the gala ceremony other distinctions and accolades were presented –  the Medal of HE Primate Rev. Cardinal Józef Glemp, the Medal of Polish Primate Rev. HE.  Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Honorary Award of HE Bishop of Kielce Rev. Jan Piotrowski  and the annual award  and the annual award of Council for Culture and Cultural Heritage Protection of the Polish Bishops’ Conference – the PER AD ARTEM Excelsis Medal.  This was handed by His Eminence  HE Bishop Michał Janocha.





A lot of business spiced with arts – a recipe for a successful expo

The 17 International Exhibition of Church Construction, Church Fittings and Furnishings and Religious Art SACROEXPO goes down in history as a record-breaking event with regards to the number of exhibitors.  The Expo abounded in Church-focussed innovations, the event programme offered accompanying events galore including the grand gala awarding ceremony of the Pontifical Council for Culture Medal –  Per Artem ad Deum. The Kielce trade show hosted over 4,500 visitors.

SACROEXPO is ranked second among Europe’s largest sacred and Church industry-related exhibitions. This year’s expo was the showcase for 280 exhibitors from 11 countries – Italy, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

 We have exhibited at SACROEXPO since the second edition of the show; over the years we have observed the trade show’s developed and advancement. SACROEXPO Poland’s and Central – Eastern Europe’s industry leader.  This event responds to high demands.  – said Mrs Marek Lempaszek of Studio Prata during the Expo.

Expo stand is one-stop-shop presentation of the latest trends in sacral art, devotional items and accessories as well as church fitments, new technologies for sacral construction and properties and heritage conservation.