Mrs. Madlena Zepter awarded with

French Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters


Monday, June 17, 2019 – On Monday, at the Villa Trianon in Monaco, Madlena Zepter was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, which the French Government awards to deserving individuals for their advocacy in the field of culture and art. The Order was rewarded to Mrs. Zepter by Her Excellency, Mrs. Marina de Carné-Trécesson, the Ambassador of the Republic of France in Monaco. The awarding ceremony was attended by many distinguished officials from the Government, Diplomatic Corps, nobility, as well as numerous close friends of the Zepter Family.

Mrs. Zepter began her speech of gratitude with the words "Tonight my feelings are very strong", firstly thanking to her husband Philip, her daughter Emma and nephews Diana and Mile, who she very attached to, and she also remembered of her parents, the Serb and the Slovenian, who planted into her in her early childhood love for art and culture. "My life has been marked with this dual identity and influence. I have always been torn between Slovenian pragmatism and Serbian openness and creativity. My father was hugely in love with the French culture, and being an engineer, he was working with France a lot.  My mother, a strong and independent woman, founded a famous fashion house in Belgrade during the communist era.”

First of all, Mrs Zepter mentioned her achievements in Serbia, in the field of art: 

The Opera & Theatre Madlenianum, the only opera in private ownership in Europe,  where have recently been performed the great works of French music: The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet and Faust by Charles Gounod, in the performance of the Opera of Saint Petersburg, in the full theatre halls of the National Theatre in Belgrade and Madlenianum in Zemun, and with an ovation of thrilled audience and a list of positive reviews by the professional public.

Afterwards, she has mentioned "Madlena Zepter" Foundation, which from the early 90's has been giving scholarships to young talents (more than 800 young people by now) and supporting numerous cultural, scientific and sports projects.

Also, the Zepter Museum on three floors in the center of Belgrade, with the wish to create a fund of works of art from the second half of the 20th century to nowadays, both of Serbian and Yugoslav artists.

In 2003, Mrs. Zepter established the European Literary Award and the Zepter International Design Award, which included several hundred artists from around the world. There is Madl'Art as well, the first auction house in Belgrade and Mrs. Zepter also proudly pointed out her publishing house, Zepter Book World.

In Monaco, Mrs. Zepter is actively involved in the life of the country and financing many activities:

  • Renaissance halls of the Opera Garnier
  • World Music Awards in Monte Carlo
  • Film Festival in Monaco
  • Formula 1 Grand Prix
  • The construction of a settlement having the name Zepter in Madagascar by the association "Father Pedro Opek" under the patronage of the Prince Albert II
  • Meeting Herculis Zepter – Golden League
  • Tennis tournament in Monte Carlo
  • Monaco Yacht Show
  • Golf tournaments

Mrs. Zepter is particularly present in literary life in France, where she has established the European Literary Award “Madlena Zepter”, dedicated to writers of exceptional values and great works. The jury is chaired by Denis Tillinac, her dear friend, who attended the awarding ceremony, and in the jury are also three academicians Dominique Bona, Michel Deon, Michel Mohrt, and first-order writers Frédérik Beigbeder Patrick Besson and Patrick Poivre D'Arvor, Franz-Olivier Giesbert, Eric Neuhoff, Jacques Gantie. In addition to this award, Mrs. Zepter is the patron of many literary awards in Serbia and abroad.

Thanking for the French Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters award to the Ambassador of France in Monaco, which she received with her honor and pride, Mrs. Zepter pointed out: "Being admitted to the ranks of art and literature is a difficult task consisting of honor and obligations," and she added:

“Our dreams were our sole starting point. There is no bigger satisfaction for me than achieving an idea and watching it live, grow and change. That specially refers to the fields of art, literature and culture. Owing to my origin and my profession as a pedagogue, I realized long time ago that culture is not only the shelter for rich, but also the key and the essence of life. As since my youth I have had the chance to meet different worlds, thanks to my family, Belgrade artistic circles and their cultural and historical heritage, I could make the connections and note their features. Travelling, books, visits to museums, theaters, meetings with people whose erudition could quench the thirst for learning have been my reasons to love, almost to live." 

At this occasion Mrs. Madlena Zepter has emphasized that by her activity in culture she wanted to show that art is expensive and fragile and it needs constant help. According to her, only culture and art can express the character of a person and nation and enable them to create better and calmer future on their past. Therefore, the most important role of art and literature is to elevate the human spirit to a higher value. 

In the end, she added: “Art is heightened consciousness, a negation of selfishness, a way of erasing barriers. I consider it an important factor, even a decisive factor for mankind, a necessity more important than any other influence, either of a political or ideological nature. So, being aware of my identity of a European woman and a citizen of the world, I have always invested in art, that is, in a free man and his eternal history. The same goes for our company Zepter International, thanks to which thousands of people live and work within our corporate mission: to provide better health and beauty to everyone. A valuable task that gives hope in the most difficult moments.”

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