75 year old architect Rafael Moneo has labelled his selection for this year’s Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts as ‘a most pleasant surprise’ after he beat 39 candidates in various artistic fields to take the 2012 title. The Prince of Asturias Awards are given each year to individuals in a number of fields who contribute to encouraging and promoting scientific, cultural and humanistic values. Initiated in 1980, the programme looks to ‘consolidate links between the Principality and His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias.
Worth €50,000, the prize is given to the following sectors: Arts; Communication and Humanities; Literature; Sports; Social Sciences; Technical and Scientific Research; International Cooperation; and Concord. Best known for his Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles and enlargement of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Moneo said of receiving the award: “Receiving the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts has been a most pleasant surprise for me, as well as an unexpected gift on my birthday, as I did not know that I had been nominated this year. I am well aware of the meaning and scope of this Award; hence the deep gratitude I feel. To be recognised in one’s own land is the most one can aspire to. Thank you, thank you so much for this recognition.”