On October 11, 2011, Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia along with Infanta Elena attended the annual meeting of the Board of the Instituto Cervantes, held in the Audience Hall of the Palace of La Zarzuela. Per the official website for the royal house of Spain, Casa de Su Majestad el Rey:
In his speech, the King recalled the twentieth anniversary of the Instituto Cervantes, ‘a key institution for global projection of our language and culture in Spanish. Learning Spanish is still a preferred option for many people around the world,’ added King Juan Carlos, who noted that Cervantes has become one of the institutions’ most appreciated by the Spanish.
Likewise, His Majesty said that this anniversary should serve ‘to broaden horizons, to imagine new ways and continue to open ourselves to continuous innovation in contemporary society requires.’ King Juan Carlos said that the ‘effort of all we must ensure that the Spanish were at the top of modernity’, and it is ‘necessary to strengthen its role in strengthening international relations and use in communication technologies and information.’ Before concluding, King Juan Carlos paid tribute to the memory of Ernesto Sabato, Gonzalo Rojas and Josefina Aldecoa.
The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Trinidad Jiménez, Minister of Education, Angel Gabilondo, the Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, director of the Cervantes Institute, Carmen Caffarel, among others.
King Juan Carlos was in charge of opening the session and give the floor to the Prime Minister for reading and approval of the minutes of the last meeting of the Board, which was approved. Then the director of Instituto Cervantes presented the annual report. Later involved the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Prime Minister. After the speech of the King, there was an ample opportunity for questions.
During the ceremony, four new trustees were welcomed: Juan Manuel Blecua, director of the Royal Spanish Academy, the Colombian writer Laura Restrepo; Enrique Gonzalez Macho, president of the Academy of Motion Picture and writer Jordi Sierra i Fabra.
The Instituto Cervantes is the institution created by Spain in 1991 for the promotion and teaching of Spanish language and the dissemination of Spanish and Hispanic culture. Its headquarters are in Madrid and Alcala de Henares, birthplace of the writer Miguel de Cervantes, while the centers of the Institute are spread over four continents.
Under the honorary presidency of His Majesty the King, the Prime Minister exercises the chief executive and elected members have been appointed from among prominent representatives of literature and Spanish and Latin American culture, of the Royal Academies, universities and other social institutions, as they are born writers vocal Prize for Literature Miguel de Cervantes (Cervantes Prize).
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