Iberdrola and AVANGRID Donate Statue to Spain’s U.S. Embassy

A shared history that reaches back to the founding of the United States was recognized in Washington, D.C. last Friday when AVANGRID CEO Jim Torgerson and Santiago Cabanas, Ambassador of Spain to the U.S., unveiled a statue of Bernardo de Gálvez of Spain.

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Gálvez, a Revolutionary War hero, risked his life on the battlefield and secured key victories against the British at Pensacola and other points in the South. For his dedication to protecting American freedoms, Gálvez was granted honorary American citizenship by Act of Congress - one of only eight people to have received the distinction. Other honorees include the Marquis de Lafayette, Winston Churchill, and Mother Teresa. The city of Galveston, Texas also bears his name.

Now, his likeness permanently stands outside Spain’s U.S. Embassy in Washington, D.C., thanks to the support of Iberdrola and AVANGRID. The statue was commissioned by Iberdrola and created by Spanish artist Salvador Amaya.

“It is my honor to personally donate this statue of Bernardo de Gálvez – an impressive piece of art and history – to the Embassy of Spain on behalf of Iberdrola and AVANGRID,” Torgerson said. “The two companies, alongside their global family of Foundations, have invested millions of dollars in the preservation and conservation of artistic heritage around the world. We are grateful to Iberdrola for making today’s gift possible.”

Last week wasn’t the first time Torgerson honored Gálvez and the historic ties between Iberdrola, the U.S. and Spain.

Iberdrola brought the Recovered Memories art exhibit to the U.S. last year with the help of the Spanish Embassy, the Louisiana State Museum, The Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Conn., the Prado Museum in Madrid, and many other partners around the world. The exhibit’s inauguration in New Orleans was visited by Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia, before moving on to Washington D.C. last September. The exhibit was a great success, pulling in over 20,000 visitors across the two locations, including Fulbright Scholars and some 4,000 students who attended as part of their school curricula.

Recovered Memories revealed the story of the Spanish Crown’s and Gálvez’s pivotal role in the American War for Independence, and in determining the future of the U.S. The exhibit looks at a lesser-known piece of American history and honors the roots of the Spanish cultural, political and economic legacy in the United States.

“Without the honorable efforts of those like Bernardo de Gálvez, our culture and identity as we understand them today would not be possible,” Torgerson said. “Let us all remember this as we commemorate the enduring Spanish-American partnership, embodied here in Gálvez." 

We hope to leave a permanent sample of this legacy in the United States, in recognition of the contributions of Spain and the greater Latino community to our collective history. Conversations continue with several prestigious institutions to partner in achieving this goal. 

AVANGRID is dedicated to preserving and enriching our communities in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This action supports: