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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Culture award for tenor Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti had surgery for pancreatic cancer last July
Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti is to receive a prize from the Italian government for his work promoting the country's culture.

The 71-year-old tenor, who recently had treatment for pancreatic cancer, is the first person to receive the award.

"This prize fills me with joy and pride," Italy's Ansa news agency quoted Pavarotti as saying.

The tenor has not made any public appearances since having cancer surgery in July 2006.

Last month, Pavarotti was admitted to hospital in his home town of Modena with a high temperature.

'Precious chance'

Meanwhile, Milan's world-famous La Scala opera house has said it will cooperate with a Modena theatre to put together a singing contest dedicated to the world's most famous opera singer.

"It is a precious chance to pay homage to the career of Luciano Pavarotti, a symbol of Italian music in the world," read a statement released by La Scala.

Pavarotti said he hoped the competition would "open the door to young people".

Ansa quoted him as saying: "I've always thought that our real value, our real strength lies in the enthusiasm, the devotion and the encouragement we can transmit to the young."

No date for the concert or the award ceremony has yet been given.

Luciano Pavarotti out of hospital
25 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Pavarotti has more cancer tests
21 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Pavarotti 'extends hospital stay'
15 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
'Positive' progress for Pavarotti
10 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Pavarotti is admitted to hospital
09 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Pavarotti working on new material
04 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Luciano Pavarotti
07 Jul 06 |  Entertainment


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