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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 09:37 GMT
France honours director Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese
DiCaprio (left) stars in Scorsese's latest film The Aviator
Director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio have been presented with France's highest cultural honours.

Taxi Driver director Scorsese was awarded the Legion of Honour in recognition of his 40-year film career.

DiCaprio, 30, was named Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters during the annual Paris ceremony.

French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said Scorsese's work demonstrated "to what extent the cinema is an art".

'Hollywood prince'

"Dear Martin Scorsese, the combat for the right of creators and cultural diversity brings together all of those who on both sides of the Atlantic and from all continents take it upon themselves to defend the expressions of identity and creation across all cultures," Mr de Vabres said.

"This fight is your fight."

DiCaprio was described by the minister as an "icon, little Hollywood prince, bad boy from Los Angeles, modern romantic hero, Peter Pan of American cinema".

The Titanic star responded by saying he was "extremely, extremely honoured".

DiCaprio stars in Scorsese's latest movie The Aviator, a biopic of eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes, which is being released in France on 26 January.

Previous recipients of the Legion of Honour include directors Steven Spielberg and David Lynch.

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