National Geographic Society wins Spain's Prince of Asturias award

The prize is one of eight Prince of Asturias awards given each year. Each of the awards, considered among the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world, carries a cash prize of Ђ50,000 (US$63,000) and a sculpture by Spanish artistJoan Miro.

In a statement, the Prince of Asturias Foundation described the society, created in 1888 and headquartered in Washington, as "one of the most important scientific and educational organizations in the world, the  AP reports.

"Throughout its history, it has performed an essential role in the exploration and investigation of the Earth and the diffusion to a wide public the scientific advances relating to the historic, geographic and artistic legacy of humanity."

The prizes are presented in the northern city of Oviedo each fall by the heir to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe of Asturias. Awards are also given in the fields of letters, social sciences, international cooperation, scientific investigation, arts, harmony and sports.

Six European cultural institutes shared the communication and humanities prize in 2005.

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