President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa delivered the insignia of the Order of Freedom to the Portuguese Society of Authors (SPA) early in the afternoon of December 1 at the Belém Palace (Lisbon). José Jorge Letria, SPA’s President, received this honor on behalf of the society, which is now an honorary member of the mentioned order. The President of the Republic thus fulfilled the announcement made on Author’s Day at the cooperative’s headquarters, granting Portuguese authors from all areas an honor that they don’t forget and which gives them a huge responsibility now and in the future.
The President of the Republic highlighted SPA’s role in Portuguese cultural life and underlined the fact that the great authors of several areas and generations have been and are members of the cooperative. He also recalled the importance that freedom has always had and will have as an integral part of the creative act. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a man of culture and also the author of several books and important communication projects, said that the granting of the insignia of the Order of Freedom to SPA was the celebration and acknowledgment of the society’s role in Portuguese collective life.
The presence of several members of SPA’s governing bodies emphasized the importance of this act by the President of the Republic that greatly honors Portuguese authors, of which more than 26,000 are members of the cooperative. The ribbon and insignia of the Order of Freedom will be on display at SPA’s headquarters (where everybody will be able to see them) because of their importance to the Portuguese community of authors, which has included great creators of several generations who never dissociated their work from the fight for the values of freedom and democracy.
The exhibition on Censorship during the dictatorship, which will open on December 14 at the Gallery-room Carlos Paredes, also honors them, recalling their fight, their sacrifice and the reach of their works, which SPA has always represented, defends and continues to defend.
Lisbon, December 2, 2016.