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Palabras de Su Majestad la Reina Doña Sofía al recibir el "2015 Hadrian Award" en la gala conmemorativa del 50 aniversario del World Monuments Fund

Nueva York (EE.UU.), 21.10.2015

Mr. Chairman,
Mrs. President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here tonight with you all.  To be recognized by the World Monuments Fund with the 2015 Hadrian Award is a great honour. I would like to express my gratitude for this recognition and to congratulate the organization for its 50th Anniversary celebration, which shows its long and steady commitment to protecting the world’s most treasured sites.

I would also like to congratulate Her Excellency Shaika Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, for being recognized with the Watch Award tonight.

I specially wish to thank Dr. Valentín Fuster for his warm and generous remarks, for which I am very grateful. He is a great friend since many years. I would also like to thank Mr Christopher Ohrstrom, as well as Mrs. Bonnie Burnham, until now president of the World Monuments Fund, for her splendid and dedicated work.

Over the past half century, the World Monuments Fund has devoted itself to an exemplary mission. All over the world, it acts as a driving force in the preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage, as well as raising global awareness of the need to save masterpieces from damage and destruction, so that they can be inherited and enjoyed by our children and grandchildren.

In partnership with UNESCO, the Fund has worked at World Heritage sites, and its achievements truly deserve our praise. However, an increasing number of irreplaceable sites are threatened or are still at risk from wars, terrorist attacks, as recent events have shown us to our great sadness, or simply from the ravages of time.

Your work, together with the support of a dedicated global community, turns out to be crucial.

Nowadays, the World Monuments Fund is contributing to the restoration of several sites and buildings in Spain. Thank you so much for your valuable support; we deeply appreciate it.

Unfortunately, History is full of examples of deliberate damage inflicted on sites and monuments for what they represent. Yet, it is during conflict when we realize the enduring power of our shared culture to build peace, as people unite behind the cause of preventing cultural destruction or loss

For the last forty years I have been committed to the task of supporting arts and history in my country, and also our International Development Cooperation efforts in Latin America to contribute to the preservation of our shared legacy. 

I strongly believe that cultural heritage has a role to play in development, and that the two concepts go hand in hand.

I would like to congratulate the recent inscription on the World Heritage List of the San Antonio Missions of Texas. Along with other missions and sites, they form part of the rich cultural legacy that Spain and the United States share.

Promoting a greater awareness of this common past is of great importance for the protection of our shared treasures and to further enhance our present ties.

Allow me to mention that on bestowing me the Hadrian Award, you have touched me deeply, as Emperor Hadrian was born in Hispania and raised in Italica, modern-day Sevilla.

Spain has always been one of the world’s landmarks for cultural tourism, thanks to her rich and diverse heritage. Therefore, a wide range of national, regional and local institutions support conservation, research and education in our artistic legacy.

Our monuments stand as a remembrance of our past, a symbol of the accomplishments of our ancestors, of their beliefs and values.

Unfortunately, History is full of examples of deliberate damage inflicted on sites and monuments for what they represent. Yet, it is during conflict when we realize the enduring power of our shared culture to build peace, as people unite behind the cause of preventing cultural destruction or loss.

Our common legacy can help us look beyond our differences and recognize our shared humanity.

I hope my work and commitment to protect cultural heritage over the years will prove useful for our societies and the coming generations.

Again, I thank you very much for this great honour.

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