British author Doris Lessing received the Prince of Asturias prize for letters from Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne, in Oviedo yesterday. Twenty two awards in different fields of achievement were awarded by the Prince, in a ceremony which took place in Oviedo's Teatro Campoamor. American writer George Steiner took the prize for communication and the humanities, and scientists Francis Collins, Hamilton Smith, John Sulston, Graig Venter and Jean Weissenbach won the scientific research award for their work on the human genome, while composer Kryzysztof Penderecki won the prize for the arts. The international cooperation award went to the leaders of the International Space Station, and the Prince spoke to the six men in the space station during the ceremony. In her speech of acceptance, Doris Lessing said that the world is facing a long war which, through its very nature, “cannot have an easy ending,” although she expressed a hope that the culture and harmony between Christians, Muslims and Jews found in Spain during three centuries could be repeated.

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