Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain has been awarded a Gold Medal of the Circle of Lyceum this Monday in recognition of her services to the arts and culture. Marked in particular were her contributions to the reconstruction of the Great Theatre of Lyceum in Barcelona, which was destroyed in a fire in 1994.
The Great Theatre of Lyceum was inaugurated in 1847, and this year celebrates its 170th anniversary with this series of awards. It has long worked towards preserving traditional Spanish and Catalan culture through its work in theatre, music and the arts, and has become a venerable and respected institution for the people of Barcelona. It also holds the rare honour of being the oldest club in Spain that still maintains its original headquarters – surviving wars, civil unrest, and political upheaval. Over the course of its history it has seen many changes and renovations, and holds a very special place in the hearts of the people and an important role in civic life.
Queen Sofía received her award in a ceremony held within the main foyer of the building, before a formal dinner that was also to take place in celebration of events. The Queen was granted the award with the approval of the Board of Government of the Circle of the Lyceum for her constant support and patronage.
In her acceptance speech for the award, Queen Sofía announced that she was deeply honoured to receive the reward and to have been able to support the various activities that helped to support the Great Theatre and its projects within the city of Barcelona. She also took the opportunity to praise the Lyceum for its work in preserving the heritage of the theatre and its commitment to traditional music, arts and culture.
“Today the Lyceum is a living and thriving reality that prides itself on Barcelona and shows the best spirit of excellence, linked to excellence and culture,” she said as part of her acceptance speech.