Spanish royals visit Chicago

October 7, 2009 (CHICAGO) Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Spain, Don Felipe and his wife Dona Letizia visited Chicago to inaugurate the new center of the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, located at the Grand Plaza on West Ohio Street.

Architect Santiago Calatrava of the Chicago Spire and artist Jaume Plensa, creator of the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, were on hand with other dignitaries to greet the Royal family.

"They are very committed to our daily efforts. We are now opening yearly between five and 10 new centers all over the world," said Ignacio Olmos, Instituto Cervantes of Chicago.

Olmos showed ABC7 the extensive library filled with 20,000 books at the institute.

The Royals toured the new 20,000 square feet site, dedicated to meet the rising demand of Spanish classes, as well as the state of the art multimedia center, and auditorium and beautiful art gallery.

"What we have done here is integrate all the new technology that are helpful to learn a foreign language," said Caliz Gil, academic director of the Instituto Cervantes.

"There are also special courses about culture in Spain, cities, the new cultural scene in Spain or Latin America," said Olmos.

"Spain's artistic genius has become Chicago's pride and joy," said Lois Weisberg, cultural events commissioner.

The Royals visited and toured Chicago's Millennium Park and were greeted by the mayor and Chicago's first lady Maggie Daley along with other officials.

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