The Mayor of Rome Francesco Paolo Troncahonoured HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs with a miniature of the 'LupaCapitolina' a symbol of the long and famous history of Romans, which was received by UAE Ambassador to Italy, HE Saqr Nasser Al Raisi with Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of Int'l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) also being present.
At a ceremony at the City Hall of Rome on Monday, Mayor Tronca said HH Sheikh Mansoor was being honoured for his support in spreading the UAE's Culture and Heritage through the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.
Mayor Tronca also presented HE Al Raisi and MsSawaya with mementoes at the ceremony for their outstanding effort in staging the Three-day World Arabian Horse Racing Conference and the Emirate Day race meeting for Arabian horses, all held between May 26 - 30, 2016.
The 'Lupa' (she-wolf) is a bronze statue depicting the twin founders of Rome- Romulus and Remus- being nursed by the she-wolf and for centuries is seen as the symbol of Rome and the Roman Empire and currently housed inside the museum atop the Capitoline Hill, which also houses the City Hall of Rome.
The Mayor had announced the award to HH Sheikh Mansoor during the Festival's gala dinner on Saturday and said, "We had to do this officially here at the City Hall as HH Sheikh Mansoor has through the Festival of Arabian Horse racing taken the traditional aspects of UAE culture to all parts of the world."
"The city of Rome presents its most precious symbol to HH Sheikh Mansoor for his role in strengthening the bonds between the UAE and Italy and the great relationship that has been established by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival with Rome through the WAHRC event and the race meeting," he said.
The Mayor and nine other members of the Roman City Council were present during the ceremony and Tronca added, "The Council appreciates the move to hold the important WAHRC in Rome. We are also greatly impressed with the effort of HE Saqr and MsSawaya in putting together this great event which has surely helped bolster the ties between the two countries."
"The UAE is known for staging great international events and we are aware that the country will be hosting EXPO 2020, great event which was staged here in Italy in 2015," said Mayor Tronca, a native of Sicily who oversaw security during Expo Milan 2015 and has been praised for keeping the event free of corruption and organised crime.
The UAE Ambassador to Italy HE Saqr Nasser Al Raisi said, "We thank the Mayor and his team for this valuable honour to HH Sheikh Mansoor and we are sure HH Sheikh Mansoor will appreciate the presence of this precious symbol of Rome in his office."
"The UAE is also thankful to the Mayor and all other Italian bodies that made the conduct of the WAHRC 2016 smooth and successful," HE Al Raisi said.
"This is a great occasion for the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival and the UAE to be recognized and honored by the city of Rome. We received great co-operation and support during the last week while staging the WAHRC and the races with over 500 delegates attending from over 80 countries," said Ms Lara Sawaya.
"This is just the beginning of our relationship with Rome and Italy. We will be back again soon to stage an endurance race under the umbrella of the Festival," she added.