By TIm Fanning

PALMA
THE son of the poet and writer Robert Graves has welcomed the news that his father is to be posthumously bestowed with the Gold Medal of the Autonomous Community of the Balearics.

Speaking yesterday to the Bulletin, William Graves, who will attend the awards ceremony this weekend in Palma with his wife, Elena, said one of his father's most important legacies to the island was the part he had played in protecting the north coast of the Island from overdevelopment.

He added it was due in large part to his father that Deya continued to be one of the most unspoilt parts of Majorca. “I'll pick it up. It's an honour,” he said about the medal. “I think the Government appreciates what the Robert Graves Foundation has done.” The foundation runs Ca n'Alluny, the house in Deya Graves built in 1932 where he spent most of his working life until his death in 1985.
Graves added that his father “during his lifetime didn't really accept very many medals”, but the honours he did accept - aside from the medals he won while serving as a British officer in World War I - tended to be local ones, such as when he was made an adopted son of Deya in 1968.

Two or three years ago Robert Graves was further recognised by the Island Council alongside the French writer, George Sand.
Graves first came to Majorca at the end of the 1920s with the American poet Laura Riding.
He was looking to escape from the UK and decided upon Majorca at the suggestion of Gertrude Stein.
He left Deya at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War but returned in 1946 following the end of World War II. “Robert always had his own world,” said William yesterday. He never really integrated because he had his own life. He loved the island, he loved his house, he loved going down to swim.”