The Italian government has awarded Cannes Film Festivalpresident Gilles Jacob one of the country's highest honours, to thank himfor "everything that he has done over the years" for Italy andItalian cinema.

Jacob received the prestigious Gran Ufficiale dellaRepubblica Italiana award on the Lido, during a solemn ceremony which wasattended by Biennale president Davide Croff and artistic director MarcoMueller.

Also on hand were Italian Culture minister Giuliano Urbani,Public Works minister Piero Lunardi, and government undersecretary GianniLetta.