HRH Prince Daniel's speech at the inauguration of Yinka Shonibare CBE:s “Wind Sculpture in Bronze I”
Princess Estelle's Sculpture park, Royal Djurgården
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
We see, and have seen throughout history, invaders demolishing cultural artifacts and historic buildings. This is done in order to destroy what makes society strong and what creates a sense of community, and forms our common past and present.
Your Excellencies, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I am trying to say is that culture unites, engages and affects the soul of society. The importance of culture cannot be overestimated. This is the reason why, three years ago, we founded The Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation. A foundation which we hope will contribute to a vital cultural life by, among other things, creating a sculpture park where we can come together and which we can feel proud of.
Today I am both proud and happy to be able to celebrate, together with you, the installation of the third artwork in the Princess Estelle Sculpture Park at Royal Djurgården – Yinka Shonibare’s fantastic “Wind Sculpture in Bronze I.”
Yinka, thank you for enriching Royal Djurgården with an absolutely outstanding sculpture. And that you to everyone who has been part of this year’s art project.
I have heard that in your “Wind Sculpture in Bronze I” you were inspired by the flapping of the sails of vessels, that the patterns of the fabrics are a reference to the Dutch textiles, and that the sculpture can be seen as a symbol of movement and migration. You have talked about how much in history is linked together, about national traditions and cultural codes.
To me this is an artwork, which can not only teach us something about ourselves where we come from, but can also make us pause and reflect on where we stand today in relation to others. Above all, perhaps, it can evoke thoughts about the path we are on and how we want our future to be.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, together, we form the future (at least here). This sculpture will leave an historic mark here at Royal Djurgården, a mark that will enrich our cultural heritage. With this, I hereby declare Yinka Shonibare’s work “Wind Sculpture in Bronze I” inaugurated.