Emilia Guarnieri is Grande Ufficiale

June 2021

As we announced at the beginning of February, the official ceremony took place today, 2nd June, the Republic Day. Emilia Guarnieri, who was one of the Founders and then President of the Rimini Meeting for 27 years, was confered the title of Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, one of the highest honours conferred by the Head of State to those who have "acquired merit towards the Nation in the field of science, literature, arts, economics and in the performance of public duties and activities carried out for social, philanthropic and humanitarian purposes, as well as for long and distinguished service in civil and military careers". In 2003, Emilia Guarnieri was confered the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana by the then President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

The ceremony took place in Rimini, Piazza Cavour, in the presence of Prefect Giuseppe Forlenza and the authorities. In addition to Guarnieri, 13 other personalities from the Rimini area were also awarded honours.

"The awarding of the Honour is an opportunity to express my gratitude to the President of the Republic and also to the Prefect of Rimini for this 2nd June celebration, which involves me personally," says Emilia Guarnieri. "Republic Day falls this year at a difficult time, and at the same time full of expectation. Not unlike in 1946, Italy today is also showing wounds and divisions. But we are beginning to see possible ways out of the crisis, signs that the common good still has its own force of attraction. The 40 years of the Meeting that I have had the good fortune to share have made me experience how dialogue and respect for others in their diversity open up unimaginable prospects for construction and good. From so many parts today we see solidarity, sharing, desire to meet, sacrifice: this gives hope".

The President of the Meeting Foundation, Bernhard Scholz, also attended the ceremony, representing all the collaborators and volunteers of the Meeting. "We are all grateful for this very high recognition of Emilia Guarnieri," said Scholz, "who has been able to promote dialogue as the main way to share the most authentic human experiences and to meet others with the desire for mutual enrichment. In the different phases of its history, the Rimini Meeting has always had in her a passionate guide who challenged everyone in the search for truth and beauty in the most diverse cultural and social realities".