Bernard Arnault

SOFT POWER: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault was awarded for promoting his country’s economic prestige in a ceremony at the French foreign ministry.

It was one of a series of awards for promoting France’s image around the world, with other categories of prizes including humanitarian efforts, tourism and promoting the French language. The grand prize went to Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut who has lit up social networks with selfies from outer space.

The jury for the prizes, which do not entail monetary compensation, was made up of French figures in academics, media and culture, and included the French president’s official chef, Guillaume Gomez.

The awards were created eight years ago by a French senator representing French citizens abroad, and are geared toward rewarding the promotion of the country’s image as modern, diverse and innovative.

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