HCA NEWS The Hans Christian Andersen Honorary Awards

The Hans Christian Andersen Award committee presents this year's three honorary awards to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe, the Italian translator Bruno Berni and the Brazilian scholar Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 05 March 2004

For the ninth time, the Hans Christian Andersen Award committee presents three honorary awards. This year, the awards go to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the Italian translator Bruno Berni and the Brazilian scholar Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin Her Majesty Queen Margrethe is awarded in her capacity as an artist.

In her art, Her Majesty the Queen has for the last 20 years taken great interest in the fairytale world of Hans Christian Andersen. In 1983, she created the screenplay, costumes and set design for 'The Shepardess and the Chimneysweep' on national Danish broadcasting, DR TV.

In 2000, she created decoupage for 'The Snow Queen' and staged 'Kærlighed i Skarnkassen' at the Pantomime Theatre, Tivoli Gardens, in 2001. This performance was based on the fairytales 'The Sweethearts', 'The Shirt Collar' and 'The Darning Needle'.

Bruno Berni
The Italian librarian Bruno Berni (born in Rome in 1959) holds a masters degree in Danish and German and is the leading translator of Danish literature in Italy. He has translated all of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales and some of his novels, and he has done so in such a captivating and whimsical way that none of the humour and wit is lost.

The same can be said of his translation of Karen Blixen. "This is a very important event in my life," Bruno Berni says of his honorary award. "I regard the award as recognition of my dedication to Danish literature, including my translation of Hans Christian Andersen."

Bruno Berni is currently translating 'A Poet's Bazaar', which will be published late 2004, and a book on Hans Christian Andersen's life in Italy, which is not a work related to Andersen's travels but the fate of his oeuvre in Italy. It will be published in early 2005.

Finally, Bruno Berni has agreed to translate Jens Andersen's biography of Hans Christian Andersen. Bruno Berni has lived and studied in Denmark periodically and speaks fluent Danish.

Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin
The Brazilian scholar Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin (born 1951) has always has a passion for fairytales, such as 'The Ugly Duckling'.

At the age of 40, as soon as her three children had been sent well on their way, Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin, who was the wife of a coffee farmer in the central federal state of Sao Paulo, started her university studies.

'The Ugly Duckling' and its journey to Brazil became the focus of her doctoral thesis, and today Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin, who is a student councillor in her hometown Presidente Prudente, is fully occupied with teaching the future educators of Brazil how to use Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales in their teaching.

"My greatest hope is to establish a centre for Hans Christian Andersen studies. Children are enthralled by Andersen's fairytales, and they love to hear about the country he came from and the age he lived in. That is why I will continue to promote distance teaching, just as I do today," says Ana Maria da Costa Santos Menin.

The Brazilian professor has lived and worked in Odense where she has studied at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre at the University of Southern Denmark. She speaks and writes in Danish. The honorary award bronze statuette, symbolising Hans Christian Andersen's memoirs 'The Fairytale of my Life', has been created by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt.

The award ceremony will be held at Odense Theatre on 2 April 2004, organised in collaboration with the Municipality of Odense and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Secretariat.

For further information on the Hans Christian Andersen Award Committee, please contact press officer Marianne Koch, Tel: +45 6619 0988, or +45 6315 1163 or e-mail: [email protected]