World-renowed laureates and star guests have turned out en masse for the Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony in Oviedo in northern Spain.The prizes aim to reward individuals and organisations for scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work of international scope. They are bestowed by the Prince of Asturias and heir to the throne of Spain Prince Felipe. Laureates this year included world-famous political scientist Antonio Damasio from Portugal who received the prize for scientific and technical research for his work in the domain of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The award for letters was bestowed to Brazilian author Nelida Pinon. A great defender of human rights, particularly women’s rights, Pinon was the first ever woman to head Brazil’s Academy of Letters. The Prince of Asturias prize for the Arts was jointly awarded to Russian and Spanish ballet dancers Maya Plisetskaya and Tamara Rojo. Holocaust survivor and former French government minister Simone Veil, who was president of the first European Parliament, received the award for International Cooperation. Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso made his country proud as he walked away with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports.