The Bui Xuan Phai – Love for Hanoi awards were on Aug. 31 presented to individuals and organisations who have made great contributions to the capital in the fields of culture, arts and society.

The most important award – the Grand Prize – is granted to an individual who has devoted his or her life to the development of Hanoi and has a career that is strongly connected to the capital. Top historian Phan Huy Le won the award for his extensive research on Hanoi .

The 76-year-old man contributed to documents on the Thang Long Citadel, Phu Dong Festival and 82 stelae of the Temple of Literature that helped the latter become recognised as a Memory of the World by UNESCO. He also held dozens of conferences on Thang Long–Hanoi and helped to publish 36 books on the city.

"It is a great honour for me. As Vietnamese, we all love our capital city and this love makes us be ready to dedicate our lives to enrich and beautify Hanoi ," he said.

In 2010, the prize was awarded to 91-year-old writer To Hoai, who has written more than 30 books on Hanoi .

The Work Prize is awarded to an individual or organisation responsible for the creation of a work that beautifies the city. Artist Vuong Van Thao was awarded the prize for his Living Fossil installation work.

"This work was inspired by my desire to preserve the city's architecture and turn it into an outdoor museum. I believe that whoever you are, you will understand my ideas when you see the work," Thao said.

Last year, musician Nguyen Cuong walked away with the Work Prize for his chorus of bronze drums.

The Idea Prize was awarded to the organisers of a competition to design Thong Nhat Park and excellent plans. The Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association, the University of Hawaii 's Globalisation Research Centre, Lac Viet Centre for Community Support and Development and the website were the honoured parties.

Michael Digregorio of the research centre said: "Our project reminds young generations to look back at the past while thinking about what they can do to make Hanoi more beautiful in the future."

In 2010, architect Dinh Viet Phuong and the website received the prize for their Old Quarter restoration ideas.

The Job Prize was presented to scientists and managers for their attempts to save the Hoan Kiem Lake turtle.

Last year, the prize went to scientists and specialists who proved the value of the Thang Long Citadel and nominated it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historian Le collected the prize on their behalf.

Judges included poet Bang Viet, chairman of the Hanoi Literature and Arts Association; researcher Nguyen Vinh Phuc; journalist Ngo Ha Thai, deputy general director of the Vietnam News Agency; painter Tran Khanh Chuong, chairman of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, and architect Doan Duc Thanh.

The awards was established in 2008 in honour of painter Bui Xuan Phai (1920-88). They were organised by the Hanoi People's Committee and sponsored by the daily The Thao&Van Hoa (Sports&Culture) newspaper and the Bui Xuan Phai Fund./.