Sean Penn Receives Order of Merit After Giving His Oscar to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
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The 'Mystic River' actor has gifted his Academy Award trophy to the Ukrainian top politician and the star receives Order of Merit from the president in return.

AceShowbiz - Sean Penn has given his Oscar to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The 62-year-old actor - who collected the Academy Award for best actor in 2004 and 2009 for "Mystic River" and "Milk" respectively - has gifted one of the statuettes to Zelensky in the capital city of Kyiv as a "symbolic" gesture to the politician and his people in Ukraine.

"It's just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here then I'll feel better and strong enough for the fights. When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I'll feel much better knowing there's a piece of me here," Sean told him in a video shared on the president's Telegram channel.

The trophy will remain in the country until the end of the ongoing war with Russia. In return, Penn was honoured with Ukraine's Order of Merit. Zelensky said, "It's not from me, it's from Ukraine." Penn added, "There are three places in the world that all the pride of my life will be. The place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this."

The actor had previously promised to "smelt" his Oscar if the Academy didn't invite Zelensky to appear at the 2022 Oscars even though doing so would have violated a rule prohibiting award winners from selling or disposing of the physical prize.

Penn said, "There is nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do than to give him that opportunity to talk to all of us. This is a man who understands movies and had his own very long and successful career in that."

He claimed, "It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it. That is not me commenting on whether or not President Zelensky had wanted to."

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