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Aki Kaurismäki Named as New Academician of Art

Film Director Aki Kaurismäki, 51, is the new Academician of Art. Finland's President Tarja Halonen will confirm the title on Friday in line with a proposal put forward by the Arts Council of Finland. Kaurismäki is the youngest of the eight living academicians. No more than eight artists can hold the title at the same time. A vacancy occurred with the death of Rauni Mollberg last autumn. Commenting on the appointment, Kaurismäki said he had always loved the title of academician. " Perhaps the only higher honour would be a Knight of the French Legion", he said in an interview given to YLE radio news. Kaurismäki has left an indelible impression on Finnish cinema. His breakthrough came in 2002 when A Man Without a Past received a major prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Kaurismäki is currently producing a new film with a Finnish theme.