Bronze Panther

Villa Karo's cultural prize


Founded in 2001, the bronze panther is Villa Karo's cultural prize, which is awarded annually to a person, organisation or society that has significantly promoted cultural understanding as well as reduced prejudice between different cultures.


The history of the bronze panther dates back to the 16th century Kingdom of Benin, territory of present-day Nigeria. The panther or leopard was a symbol of the ruler: the king himself was named "son of the Leopard" and was celebrated as the "Leopard- King of the world." The bronze panther award is an example of the famous bronze craftsmanship of the Kingdom of Benin. 


Award granted:

2023 Fest Afrika, festival in Tampere
2022 Angélique Kidjo,
2021 Walter ry
2020 Matti-Juhani Karila,
retired reporter
2019 Soile Rinno, non-fiction writer
2018 Noël Saïzonou, musician, composer
2017 Elina Hirvonen, writer, reporter, movie director
2016 Katriina Ranne, Doctor of Philosophy writer and translator of poetry
2015 Ujuni Ahmed, youth counselor; Riitta Kujala & Catherine Othieno, Hyvästi Afrikka -filmmaker
2014 HAFF – Helsinki African Film Festival
2013 Street culture magazine Iso Numero
2012 Li-Lo Söderholm, Norsen secondary school principal
2011 Tiina Lindfors, dancer, choreographer
2010 Miia Jonkka, documentary director
2009 Wilson Kirwa, runner, storyteller
2008 Olli Löytty, non-fiction writer
2007 Marjo Kaartinen, docent of cultural history
2006 Ritva Siikala, theatre director, founder of the Kassandra Cultural Centre
2005 Hasse Walli, composer, musician
2004 Antonia Ringbom, animation film director
2003 Aune Laaksonen, Director of the Kerava Art Museum
2002 Kaisu Isto, Yle's film buyer
2001 Heikki Salojärvi, book publisher and translator


Piirros pronssipantterista valkoisella taustalla. Pantterin häntä on kiemuralla.