James Wolfensohn, World Bank President (1995 – 2005), speaking on January 25, 2005 in Washington DC when the National Building Museum presented its sixth prestigious Vincent Scully Prize to His Highness the Aga Khan in recognition of his contributions to promoting design excellence and improving the built environment in the Muslim world.
Introduced by Abdulmalik Merchant
On January 25, 2005, I was privileged to attend the award ceremony honouring Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with the prestigious Vincent Scully Prize at the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C.
The setting for the gala inside the majestic Grand Hall of the NBM grand was absolutely fabulous, with its spectacular structures. It was a most memorable evening for me that remains vivid to this day. I took detailed notes at the event, and upon returning to my hotel after the award ceremony, I prepared a lengthy description of the proceedings. A much shorter version was submitted for publication on the Ismaili Heritage website a few days later.
Carolyn Schwenker Brody, Chair of the National Building Museum’s Board of Trustees, presents the Vincent Scully Prize, a crystal obelisk, to the Aga Khan on January 25, 2005 in a black tie gala event in Washington DC. Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji.
Subsequently, I began receiving distorted versions of speeches that were made that evening to honour the Aga Khan. I found inaccurate statements attributed to James Wolfensohn, the then World Bank President, who introduced the Aga Khan at the ceremony with a truly remarkable tribute. Unfortunately, after a brief hiatus, the embellished version of tribute is back in circulation – I received a copy only last week.
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