HCA NEWS First Lady of Chile appointed as HCA Ambassador

Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos, the First Lady of Chile, has been appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador by HRH Princess Alexandra.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 26 January 2004

When the world celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005, Chile will feature prominently. A number of high-profiled Chilean projects will be launched during the bicentenary, which is why the Chilean Embassy in Denmark, in collaboration with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, today engaged in hosting the HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN AND CHILE event at Hofteatret (the Royal Court Theatre) in Copenhagen.

The event highlighted Danish-Chilean cooperation in relation to the 2005 bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen. Additionally, the first Chilean Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador was appointed, and the first Chilean Hans Christian Andersen project was publicised.

Chairman of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Anker Boye, opened the event with the following words:

"Hans Christian Andersen wrote fairytales. His life was one great fairytale, and in 2005 we seek to create a worldwide fairytale in his honour - and in his spirit. Today, we write the first pages of another new and exciting fairytale. The fact that a country as far away as Chile is so committed to the celebration of Andersen is a fairytale in it's own right. The symbolism of the co-operation between Chile and the Foundation is of immense importance and will greatly enhance the impact and scope of the worldwide celebration."

HCA Ambassador
HRH Princess Alexandra appointed Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. President Ricardo Lagos of Chile accepted the appointment as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador on behalf of his wife Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos, who was unable to accompany her husband during his official visit to Denmark.

He was presented with an official 24-carat red and white gold Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador needle as well as an official Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador diploma. Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos was appointed on account of the prominent role that Chile enjoys in relation to the 2005 bicentenary. Her role is to contribute to the wider appreciation and awareness of Hans Christian Andersen in Chile.

HRH Princess Alexandra motivated the choice of Ambassador with the following words:

"Among the many countries joining together in the celebration, Chile will feature prominently. The distant world of Chile never found its way into Andersen's diaries or stories, but Andersen's stories have certainly reached into the heart of Chile where they have moved generations of readers. With the bicentenary approaching, the close bond between Denmark and Chile will become even stronger, and the two countries will enjoy a unique opportunity to learn more about each other. In preparation of the celebrations in Chile and the rest of the world, we ask a number of people worldwide to bring special attention to the bicentenary. We call them Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos is exceptionally worthy of this title. For most of her life, Mrs Lagos has been dedicated to issues of social welfare and the improvement of life for those who find life a struggle. She has helped establish a large number of foundations that support children, women's rights, the disabled and senior citizens, and she furthermore extends her support to various cultural organisations in Chile. It is therefore with great pride that I hereby appoint Mrs. Luisa Durán de Lagos to be Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador."

Mrs Luisa Durán de Lagos is the tenth in the row of international notabilities to be appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors in relation to Hans Christian Andersen 2005, the worldwide celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005.

First Chilean projects
Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, presented the first Chilean projects related to Hans Christian Andersen: the publication of The Book of Questions Neruda-Andersen, which is the result of a cooperation between the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. It is a unique project that ties Chile and Denmark together in an encounter between two historical authors from different centuries.

The Book of Questions Neruda-Andersen features an imagined dialogue between the authors Pablo Neruda and Hans Christian Andersen where Andersen answers the questions posed by Neruda in his book The Book of Questions (El Libro de Preguntas) from 1974.

Here Naruda poses a number of paradoxical questions, which he seeks answers to in his own poems. In The Book of Questions Neruda-Andersen answers to the same questions will be sought in Hans Christian Andersen's literary work. The Danish author Johannes Mĝllehave will edit the book. It is to be published in a bilingual Danish-Spanish edition, which will allow readers to experience the original language texts of both authors in their entirety. The Book of Questions Neruda-Andersen will be published in 2004 - the centenary of the birth of Pablo Neruda.  

"It is hard to imagine a more powerful and yet subtle way of exploring the relationship between Hans Christian Andersen and Chile than by letting Andersen answer Neruda's fundamental questions about life. I am convinced that this magnificent book will be a very compelling illustration of Andersen's ability to speak to readers across time and geographical boundaries as well as his ability to engage in universal dialogue with Chile's equally great national poet," said Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg. 

At the HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN AND CHILE event, Danish actress Ghita Nĝrbye read from the fairytale The Princess on the Pea, where after the CAMERATA Chamber Choir - conducted by Michael Bojesen - performed five love sonatas by Pablo Neruda and music by Michael Bojesen with His Excellency, Ambassador Jaime Lagos of Chile.



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