OVIEDO: Spain s King Felipe VI on Friday awarded online encyclopedia Wikipedia the country s Princess of Asturias award for international cooperation, hailing it a “universal symbol of teamwork”.
In a glittering ceremony held in the northern city of Oviedo attended by US entrepreneur Jimmy Wales, who founded Wikipedia in 2001, the king said the online encyclopedia “wants to put culture within reach of the greatest number of people possible”.
“Millions of volunteers around the world each day add to Wikipedia content in a labour which since 2001 is an innovative example of international cooperation,” he added.
“We are rewarding a brilliant and generous idea, a way of working that is a universal symbol of teamwork. We are rewarding an encyclopedia which is much more than a collection of facts.”
Wikipedia, which has 35 million articles in 288 languages, is written by volunteers around the world and its articles are edited by registered users.
It has been run since 2003 by a non-profit organisation, the Wikipedia Foundation, which is headquartered in San Francisco in the United States.
Wikipedia receives about 500 million single visits a month making it one of the 10 most visited websites in the world, according to the award foundation.
The 50,000-euro ($54,000) award is one of eight prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named after Spain s Princess Leonor. Other categories include the arts, sport and literature.
The awards were named the Prince of Asturias awards after Felipe until he became king last year, and passed on the title to his nine-year-old daughter.