IWC and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation celebrate a decade of preserving the legacy of the author-pilot who wrote the classic story “The Little Prince” and supporting child literacy around the world. Saint-Exupéry’s grandnephew Olivier d’Agay shares with the Journal the importance of the relationship between the Foundation and IWC and why the message of the Little Prince has stood the test of time.
— From left: François d’Agay, Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse chairman; Dr. Claude Garrandès, teacher, artist and publisher; Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO IWC Schaffhausen; and Olivier d’Agay, Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse secretary general
How has the partnership between the Foundation and IWC evolved over the years?
The partnership has evolved in three different directions: more resources affected to the Foundation, focus on selected projects to be supported by IWC, more communication about the auctions.
How do you select organizations to support?
Projects are provided by the huge Saint Exupéry community of fans around the world. The selection is made following three main criteria: it should stick to our subject (education and illiteracy), we do not finance 100%, somebody in the organization takes the responsibility of the use of the money given and is liable to us.
Why do you think the story of The Little Prince is still seen as inspirational in today’s world?
Because it contains values that match with the new generation’s expectations: protection of the planet, harmony, friendship, peace. Each period reveals new messages related to its human environment. This is the magic of this book.
What is Antoine de Saint Exupery’s legacy and how does the Foundation keep it alive?
Our uncle’s main legacy is of course his book “The Little Prince”, the most translated book in the history of literature (400 languages) and discovered by every new generation since 75 years. But Saint Exupéry has also left his trace in many fields: education, aeronautics, and politics. The Estate contributes to keep alive his messages and his memory through numerous activities such as exhibitions, meetings, museums and of course the Foundation.
IWC is auctioning a unique Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” 8th and 17th July through Sotheby’s. IWC will donate its proceeds from the sale to the Foundation, continuing to support the charitable organisation’s educational programmes for young people.
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