Magnificent 2009 Prince of Asturias Awards Presentation Ceremony

  October 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm by

On Friday 23rd, the 2009 Prince of Asturias Awards took place at Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo, Asturias.

View the image at Casa Real

At 18:25, the Prince and Princess of Asturias arrived at theatre to preside over the ceremony. They were accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Sofia, who always attends the ceremony, and by HRH Princess Alia of Jordan, a special guest who for the first time attended the event. Both watched the ceremony form the royal box.

The Prince and Princess took their seats at the Presidential table along with the President of the Principality of Asturias, Mr. Vicente Alvarez Areces, and the President of the Prince of Asturias Foundation, Mr. Matias Rodriguez Inciarte. The ceremony started with the playing of the national anthem, played by the City of Oviedo Bagpipe Band. After a brief speech by the President of the Foundation; Ismail Kadaré, José Narro, Margaret Chan and Klaus Wowereit gave thanking speeches.

A special and emotive one, was Ismail Kadaré’s speech. “During that glacial age when no-one traveled between my country and Spain, a solitary gentleman crossed the impassable frontier as often as he wished, spurning the world’s laws. You know who I am referring to: Don Quixote,” he said.

The award winners left their seats and walked to the President’s table, to be handed the Award by the Prince. Afterward the Prince gave his speech, considered one of his most important speeches of the year, in which he devoted a few words to this year laureates. HRH also give thanks to “the people of Asturias and to others parts of Spain, and event too many from abroad who accompany us to make this day a great celebration of culture and of concord.”

On such a big occasion, the Prince didn’t forget the difficult moments of economic crisis for what Spain is experiencing. In his speech he made a call against unemployment; “Unemployment offends our dignity as human beings and is our main concern. It calls for States to facilitate the necessary social protection to those who find themselves in this situation. In Spain, this crisis has also shown us that we need new bases upon which to grow and generate employment which makes it possible for citizens and their families to be able to live their lives with dignity, security and trust in the future.”

“To do so, we must apply the best of ourselves in this task. Let us work, in short, in close cohesion, shoulder to shoulder, with a constructive spirit, with confident and hope.”

View the image at Casa Real

After the Prince’s speech, the award winners left the theatre to the sounds of “Asturias, patria Querida” (Asturias, our beloved homeland), the anthem of Asturias, played once again by the bagpipe band.

The Prince of Asturias Foundation not only honours the world’s great achievers. In 1990, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Foundation, a new award was established, with a different character and nature from the Prince of Asturias Awards. The new award was named Exemplary Town of Asturias.

The award will be given to the town, village, population centre, landscaped area or population in the Principality of Asturias which has featured notably in the defence and conservation of its natural environment, historical heritage, cultural or artistic or also in the implementation of community works and others demonstrations of solidarity outstanding.

View the image at Casa Real

This year the Exemplary Town Award goes to Community of Sobrescobio. The community consists of almost 900 inhabitants distributed in eight towns. Sobrescobio has worked for years in the conservation of its natural, historic, artistic, ethnographic and cultural area. Over the past few years the community has started initiatives which main goals has been to strengthen the social and economic development and solidarity among its people.

On Saturday the 24th, the Prince and Princess of Asturias went to Rioseco capital of Sobrescobio to hand out the Award, and to meet with its people.

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