Danish Queen Margrethe II: Not "part of this conflict".
Photo: VALENTINE CHAPUIS / AFP
The Danish Queen Margrethe II withdraws her patronage for the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for children's and young adult literature.
This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the royal family of the German Press Agency on Wednesday on request.
The reason is a dispute about the jury chairperson of the international award, who was elected in September, the Russian Anastassija Arkhipova.
In several countries - such as Ukraine, Sweden and Finland - national departments of the organization IBBY, which awards the prize, had called for the illustrator's resignation in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
»It is difficult to be internationally active without the acceptance of the Russian government.
That's why, no matter what she thinks about the war, she becomes a symbol,” Swedish IBBY department chair Margaretha Ullström told Danish radio.
Queen Margrethe II could not be "part of this conflict," said the spokeswoman for the German Press Agency.
In the board of the Danish IBBY department there was no majority for the demand for his resignation, but this time they do not want to be part of the award and do not nominate any candidates.
The youth literature working group, which forms the German section of the IBBY, was not available during New Year's week.
The prize, which is awarded every two years, is considered one of the most important international awards in children's and young adult literature.
It is named after the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and is awarded by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).
As reported by Danish radio, the international board responded to the criticism of the jury chairperson that the members did not represent the governments of their countries, but themselves as authors, illustrators or publishers.
Anastasija Archipowa has been internationally recognized as an illustrator for decades;
Her illustrations for fairy tales by Andersen and the Brothers Grimm are also well known in Germany.
The former director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Kyiv, Sergej Sulemny, however, accuses Arkhipova of being a member of the board of directors of a Moscow artists' association called MOCX , which actively promotes Russia's war in Ukraine.
For example, the group held a competition called "Agitfront" to submit designs that represented patriotism and visual agitation on behalf of Russia.
The best designs would be shown in a "Victory Picture 2023" exhibition.
When asked by Danish Radio, Anastasiya Arkhipova admitted that four years ago she was offered a seat on the association's board.
But she is not active there and did not know about this competition.
Regarding the demands for his resignation, she wrote in an email to the broadcaster that calling for bullying based on nationality is exactly what those who instigate wars want.
She "hopes with all my heart that this terrible situation will end soon."
Most recently, the Hans Christian Andersen Prize went to the US author Jacqueline Woodson and the Swiss illustrator Albertine Zullo.
Previous winners include Astrid Lindgren, Erich Kästner and Christine Nöstlinger.
The prize is not endowed, the winners receive a gold medal.