French Ambassador to Italy Martin Briens today honored the president of the Venice Sustainability Foundation (FVCMS/VSF) Renato Brunetta with the title of “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor).” On behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron, the award was presented today during a ceremony at Sala dei Fasti in Rome’s Palazzo Farnese.
Briens paid tribute to Brunetta’s efforts by recognizing him as the: “highest honor bestowed by the French state, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to reward acts of exceptional military bravery and for extraordinary merits accomplished in civilian life.” The ambassador then added the reasons for the president’s award: “For a spirit of commitment so dear to France demonstrated on so many occasions and in so many different ways. You have committed yourself as a lecturer, economist and politician, a close friend of France. You have shown a sincere attachment to our country that was and still is greatly appreciated.”
The French diplomat went on to praise Brunetta: “Today more than ever, our continent needs people like you, who believe in your ambition to accept and overcome the epochal challenges we are experiencing.”
In conclusion, Briens touched on the theme of Venice and the Venice Sustainability Foundation: “Venice, the city of his heart, to which he has always been very dedicated, a city to which, in his words, he owes everything, where he was born and raised and where he created the FVCMS/VSF that he chairs. With the Biennale della Sostenibilità he aims to make Venice a point of reference for the sustainable development of cities starting with culture and technology. With the Foundation he wants to make La Serenissima a model of ecological, social, human and technological resilience, an exemplary, very interesting initiative that France will follow closely, I am sure.”
President Renato Brunetta expressed his sincerest thanks to the ambassador and the president of the Republic of France, emphasizing his happiness for: “an honor that gives meaning to the commitment of a whole life, spent between academia, politics and institutions.”
Brunetta then wanted to highlight how in our imagination France represents: “a laboratory of the future in purity, where all forms of power and social organization were manifested for the first time in history in a way that does not distinguish between idea and practice, because both are the result of an unrepeatable authenticity.” He then recalled the deep and ancient bond between the two countries, which it would be reductive to limit to only interstate relations between governments, because it is sustained by: “a multiplicity of contacts between businesses, academies, scientists, men of culture, intermediate bodies.”
Reiterating the “elective affinities” that make Italy and France “two countries and two brotherly peoples,” Renato Brunetta concluded by stating that the recognition received ” It is also a commitment to hold firm and strengthen the roots of this extended family that I represent from today.”