Tue Dec 11 01:00:00 CET 2018

Feijóo remarks that the more than 3.6 million pilgrims who have arrived in Santiago to date since 1993 did not travel to the past but 'to a future capable of integrating eras, cultures and experiences'

  • He draws attention to the responsibility to enhance the value of a Camino that crosses various routes and runs through over 100 townships, with a programme of rehabilitation, restoration and recovery of the assets of cultural interest affected
  • He sets the objective of everyone to portray, even more strongly, both what Galicia is, and what Galicia represents
  • He stresses that the Region has a very remarkable presence on the select list of World Heritage
  • He refers to the celebration of 25 years since the Declaration of the French Camino in Spain as a double homage to Galicia, as the guardian of the first Europeanism and of a primitive sense of democracy
  • He advocates for invigorating and strengthening the paths, because "when the paths lead the way, populations meet, nations are united in solidarity and the states are associated"

Santiago de Compostela, 11 December 2018

Today, the President of the Galician Government, Alberto Núñez Feijóo remarked that the more than 3.6 million pilgrims who have arrived in Santiago de Compostela to date since 1993 did not travel to the past but 'to a future capable of integrating eras, cultures and experiences'. He also drew attention to the responsibility to enhance the value of a Camino that crosses various routes and runs through over 100 townships, with a programme of rehabilitation, restoration and recovery of the assets of cultural interest affected "And we will do this, making this new appointment with history - the Xacobeo 2021-, a community event that all Galicians must be a part of," he said.

"We want to portray, even more strongly, both what Galicia is and what Galicia represents," he said, recalling that the success of the Xacobeo, "the international recognition that we are celebrating in this era", is greatly owed to the involvement throughout the country. "The pilgrim is hosted by a land, a story, a spirituality, but, above all, by men and women who received the gift of hospitality from their ancestors," he said.

During a visit to the Photography Exhibit of the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of the French Camino in Spain, he stressed that Galicia has a very remarkable presence on the select list of World Heritage, with the Roman walls of Lugo, the Tower of Hercules and the Caminos del Norte. Only two weeks ago the Piedra Seca walls were recognised as Cultural Heritage of Humanity and, right now, three nominations are under way: the Ribeira Sacra, the Cíes Islands and El Ferrol de la Ilustración, in addition to the celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018.

Throughout his talk, the head of the Galician government stressed that 25 years ago the Galicians said that we wanted to be as we are, restoring the best of our inheritance in order to transform it into something attractive for us and for our neighbours, "which is essentially to say the whole world," he said.

Feijóo also referred to this celebration as a double homage to Galicia, as the guardian of the first Europeanism and of a primitive sense of democracy. "The Camino de Santiago gives the town a unique role, to the point that we could see a travelling European Parliament that forges a natural and polyglot Europeanism", he said, adding that, unlike other milestones listed in the catalogue developed by Unesco, the Camino is not something inert but a living organism made up of all the pilgrims who walk the route.

Furthermore, he outlined that this anniversary has a special value at this stage in the 21st century, where people want to put up walls in place of roads.

In this regard, he said that perhaps the greatest danger consists in thinking that there are irremovable and undisputed principles, such as democracy, coexistence or unity, when it is necessary to "practice them, disseminate them, improve them and even rid them of errors and unhealthy behaviours." Not in vain, the most baneful moments of history were made possible by the concurrence of action and inhibition: “The action of the enemies of understanding and the inhibition of all those that believed that the social virtues and policies defend themselves," he said.

The President of the Xunta concluded by advocating for invigorating and strengthening the paths, because "when the paths lead the way, populations meet, nations are united in solidarity and the states are associated".