Iron Maiden have been honoured by the Argentine National Congress, with the UK rock giants receiving the Visitors Of Honour accolade.
The award was spearheaded by legislator Victoria Donda and organised by fans and journalists to recognise Maiden’s work and frequent visits to the country, with the ceremony held the day before the band’s sold out show at the Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires.
In his speech at the Chamber Of Deputies in the city, frontman Bruce Dickinson told the crowd: “We love music, we love Argentina, we love your food, we love your soccer players – except maybe one! We love your rugby because I’m a big fan of rugby – I’m a big fan of the Pumas."
He added: “There is so much that connects us that is so much more important than anything that might separate us, and heavy metal, music and Iron Maiden is one thing we can all agree on and I think we should celebrate that.
“We have a sold out show in Buenos Aires, which is a shame because we want to play to bigger people and more places in Argentina and I look forward to coming back here again – and we’re going to play somewhere, maybe River Plate stadium next time.
“Thank you for giving us this fantastic honour. My heart is with you in Argentina.”
In April this year, Dickinson was made an honorary citizen of Sarajevo after he famously played a solo show in the middle of the siege of the city in 1994. The vocalist attended the ceremony which came during an event to mark the anniversary of the city’s liberation in 1945.
Iron Maiden will wrap up the latest leg of their Legacy Of The Beast tour tonight (October 15) when they play at the Santiago Estadio Nacional, in Chile.