Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran at Bernadotte Arts Awards

PRINCE SIGVARD & MARIANNE BERNADOTTE ARTS AWARDS - Stockholm June 7, 2012

As a guest of honor, and upon the invitation of Princess Marianne Bernadotte, Countess of Weisberg, Her Imperial Majesty The Shahbanou of Iran attended the 30th Anniversary of Bernadotte Arts Awards Gala Dinner on June 7th, 2012, in Stockholm, Sweden. His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Queen Noor of Jordan were also amongst the guests. 

Princess Marianne established the Marianne and Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund in 1982, to mark the 75th birthday of her husband, the late Count Sigvard Bernadotte (second son of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden). 
Grants are awarded each year to young scholars in music, theatre, design and art. The scholarships provide young artists with the opportunity to develop their talents at an early stage in their careers; many of the award winners have later become successful. Over the years, the foundation has awarded grants to over 150 artists. Among the winners of the Bernadotte Art Awards for 2012 were two young women from Iran, the actress Nina Zanjani born in 1981 and the designer Behnaz Aram born in 1978.

Remarks by HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi  at the 30th Anniversary of the Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund
June 7, 2012 Stockholm
 

Dear Princess Marianne,
Your Majesty Queen Noor,
Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Dearest Marianne, first and foremost I offer you my deepest condolences for the tragic loss of your beloved son.  As a mother, I feel what you are going through and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts at this difficult time. Despite this great loss, I admire your courage and resilience for going ahead with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund.

Thank you for inviting me to take part in this special event.

Our own friendship extends over decades. I recall with immense pleasure the late Prince Sigvard’s visit to Iran and how much my husband and I enjoyed meeting him. I’m happy that now you and I both serve on the board of the Museum of Art & Design in New York City. I applaud your commitment and efforts in supporting, encouraging and promoting the works of artists of diverse disciplines and origins. The Marianne and Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund opens the door to dialogue between cultures and civilizations. This philosophy is very close to my heart because in 1976 we established the Dialogue of Civilizations in Iran to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and build a bridge between East and West. I believe art and cultural exchanges can indeed help eliminate barriers and enable peoples of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds to live together in harmony.  As history has proven time and again, oppressive regimes have mostly failed to snuff out artistic creativity and expression. Artists have paved the way for promoting free societies and democracies.  Their vision, foresight and courage has enriched and touched all our lives. So my congratulations to all the recipients of Marianne and Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Funds 2012 Awards. I am especially delighted to see that two of my dear compatriots, actress Nina Zanjani and designer Behnaz Aram are amongst the winners. I also would like to take the opportunity to thank Hans Hjelmqvist and his colleagues from Trendgruppen who have organized this splendid gala evening. 

I end with my best wishes for the continued success of the Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund.

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