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Felipe VI highlights the “essential” role of culture during the pandemic and says that institutions must support it

King Felipe VI highlighted this Wednesday in Pamplona the “essential” role of culture during the covid-19 pandemic and has affirmed that, “although culture has always been with us, it was in the most difficult moments when it became a real need and a relief.

In awarding the 2020 Fine Arts Gold Medals to 32 personalities, Don Felipe stated that “culture is always with us, encourages us, comforts us, makes us enjoy, guides us, questions us, interrogates us, it helps us build a better world; culture makes us feel part of a common history, it may be the result of individual work, but it is undoubtedly a heritage shared by all Spaniards”.

“That is why, from the institutions, we must reciprocate your hard work with determined support and commitment, so that your imagination, your passion and your vocation find the field and conditions favorable conditions in which to develop and prosper”, he stated.

In addition, Don Felipe wished that these medals “serve as an impetus to once again fill our theaters, our cinemas, that they encourage us all to read your works, to allow ourselves to be accompanied by your songs: that culture, when we are experiencing such dramatic moments and tragic events in Ukraine, which affect peace and stability in Europe and the world order so much, be today and always, something essential in our lives”.

The award ceremony was presided over by King Felipe and Queen Letizia and was attended by the President of Navarra, María Chivite, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, and the Mayor of Pamplona, ​​Enrique Maya.

On behalf of the 32 winners, the actress Emma Suárez intervened. The event, in the Baluarte de Pamplona, ​​was attended by, among other winners, the singer Rosario Flores, the actor Antonio Resines, the filmmakers Álex de la Iglesia and Montxo Armendáriz, and the dancers Sara Baras and Antonio Canales.

In his speech, Don Felipe explained that the king and queen are very happy “to come here to Pamplona, ​​to Navarre and recover the itinerant delivery of the Gold Medals for Merit in Fine Arts in places that, like this land and this city, They are synonymous with history and culture”. “These ooze here in every corner, they are a source of pride, as a treasure inherited through the centuries, for all Navarrese and all Spaniards”, he stated.

The King stressed that the Gold Medal for Fine Arts “is perhaps the noblest distinction we can bestow those who have precisely made culture, in its richness and diversity, the center of their lives”.

“You, dear and dear winners, have done it -and continue to do it-, and they are your trajectories, your work and also your legacy those who call us on this occasion”, he highlighted.

The King has conveyed his “love to the families, friends and colleagues of Pau Donés, Álvaro de Luna and Andrés Sardá -recognized posthumously with the medals-“. “From music, movies and fashion, they gave us so much, and that’s how much we miss them. Our cultural heritage, the Fine Arts, what we celebrate here and in each edition, is bigger and better thanks to them and to those of you who are part of this award-winning edition today”, he assessed.

Don Felipe recalled that in the month of June last year “we delivered the 47 Medals corresponding to the 2018 and 2019 editions at the Palacio del Pardo in Madrid, whose laureates had to wait patiently for the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Being able to be here shows that the first steps towards normalcy are already beginning to be taken, resuming the annual installments, which we longed for so much, and how important they are for creators, as recognition and inspirationand for culture as a whole”, he stated.

After that, he stressed that “your role was essential during the pandemic.” “Surely in so many ways we remember well how it was for each of us. I said it in the last installment and I wanted to bring this idea up again, because we must never forget it. Although Culture has always been with us, it was in the most difficult moments when it became a real need and a relief”, has highlighted.

“You are the ones who inspire and are an example for many, here and beyond our borders. Spanish culture has some great references in you, and you know how to represent and project it wherever you go. Thank you for making us feel -with you- even more proud of her.”

Don Felipe has pointed out that culture, “which is always with us, encourages us, comforts us, makes us enjoy, guides us, questions us, questions us, helps us build a better world; culture, which makes us feel part of a common story It may be the result of individual work, but it is undoubtedly a heritage shared by all Spaniards”.

“That is why, from the institutions, we must reciprocate your hard work with determined support and commitment, so that your imagination, your passion and your vocation find the field and favorable conditions in which to develop and prosper”, he said. outstanding.

Throughout his speech, the King stated that “There is no doubt that art and culture make us grow spiritually, They establish strong links with the past and accompany us and portray us in our future”.

“It is also true that your contribution has a tangible and material value: with your ideas and creationsyou carry emotional value, prestige and future; but also to our economy, creating employment, work and wealth”, has indicated.

Thus, he shared two pieces of information: cultural employment now accounts for 3.5% of total employment in Spain, with almost 4% of companies dedicated to the cultural sector. “The economic weight of your contribution grows and accompanies the essential one that it supposes in the aesthetic, intellectual and artistic plane. Because few disciplines operate like these in the symbolic and in the tangible, few have the ability to change reality, but also the imaginary”, he indicated.

Don Felipe has pointed out that “Baluarte, which is the name of the building that welcomes us today, is not only a fortification, it also expresses, and is a very significant definition, ‘protection and defense'”.

“Understand the Medals you have received as an example of that protection and defense that all Spaniards, represented in their institutions, offer you. Protection and defense to help you and encourage you to continue with your work, to enrich with your creativity, with your talent, the whole society, and to be able to continue building, molding and beautifying -together- a great country; a country to be proud of every day”, she underlined.

He has also asked them to understand “this bastion as a request: ours, that of all Spaniards, so that we can continue enjoying your art and find in it that protection and defense that did us so much good as a society and that we will always need so much”. “Culture shelters us and gives us strength and thanks to it we grow as individuals and as a society”, he indicated.

For this reason, he explained that both he and the Queen wish the winners that these medals “Always remind you of our support, our respect and our admiration; that they serve as an incentive for your future creations, that they sow in those who admire you the hope of the path of art”.

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