Thursday, May 24, 2007

Queen Beatrix exchanges gifts with Slovak dignitaries

May 22 was Queen Beatrix’s second day of her three-day visit to Slovakia.
The Queen was given a bronze statue and several other presents in addition to the state honours from President Ivan Gašparovič.
Queen Beatrix went to Primatial Palace in Bratislava’s old town, where she was welcomed by Bratislava’s Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský, viewed an exhibition of world-famous tapestries and signed the city's "Golden Book".
Ďurkovský presented the queen with a book about tapestries from the Mortlake (England) weaver’s workshop that decorate the Primatial Palace, and an engraving of the city from the 17th century.
With Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš in attendance, the Dutch monarch then met with leaders of non-governmental organizations and spoke with them on the transformation of Slovakia since the fall of communism in 1989.
At the University Library, Queen Beatrix attended a seminar on multilingualism and the status of languages in the EU and was given a book published on the occasion of the re-opening of the library in 2005.
In the afternoon, she went to the Danubiana modern art museum near Čuňovo, where she met with local business leaders.
Later she attended a formal concert held in the Slovak National Theatre’s old hall on Bratislava's Hviezdoslavovo Square.
In the evening, Queen Beatrix, President Gašparovič, First Lady Gašparovičová and a host of other guests were treated to a concert by Dutch piano virtuoso Wibi Soerjadi in the Slovak National Theatre’s old opera hall.
The concert and the following reception were organized by Queen Beatrix in Gašparovič's honour.