HCA NEWS International Hans Christian Andersen exhibition

An international Hans Christian Andersen exhibition, developed by Odense City Museums with support from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, was publicised at a press conference today. The exhibition will feature in 12 languages and will tour more than 29 nations, promoted by the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 28 May 2004

"To travel is to live," Hans Christian Andersen said. Once again, he is set to embark on a new journey. Today, the Odense City Museums unveiled plans for a new international touring exhibition on the adventurous life of Hans Christian Andersen.

The exhibition is one of the pillars of the international celebration of the 2005 bicentenary of the birth of the Danish poet. It will feature in 12 languages and will be presented in more than 29 nations worldwide.

The exhibition, set to visit museums, exhibition centres and libraries, will start its world tour in Efteling, The Netherlands, and in Strzelce Krajenskie, Poland, in June 2004 and will continue to Latvia, Bolivia, Chile, the Czech Republic, China, Germany and the USA.

"We take great pleasure in the colossal interest in hosting the international exhibition, which conveys the amazing story of the life of Hans Christian Andersen to a wide international audience. Although Andersen's many fairytales are familiar to most, the story of his life will be new to many," Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, says.

The exhibition features 20 large display boards conveying the amazing life and work of Hans Christian Andersen through images and text. The display boards feature in a simple graphic style with headings that capture the theme and timeline of the life story of Andersen. The exhibition offers a glimpse of the upper theatre boxes at the Royal Theatre, frequented by Andersen; the Italian osteria 'La Gensola', a haunt of the Danish expatriate artist colony, and the dried flowers Andersen gave to Riborg Voigt, whom he fell in love with.

The exhibition focuses on the man and artist Hans Christian Andersen and introduces the women in Andersen's life as well as contemporary personalities within the arts and sciences, such as poet Adam Oehlenschläger, author Johan Ludvig Heiberg, physicist Hans Christian Ørsted and sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, who were all friends of Hans Christian Andersen and prominent figures in the Golden Age of Danish Romanticism.

Close cooperation
This worldwide presentation is the result of close cooperation between the curator of the exhibition, Odense City Museums, the sponsor of the exhibition, the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, and the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which promotes the exhibition through the Royal Danish Embassies and Consulates.

The international exhibition, Hans Christian Andersen 2005, is one of the first artistic projects devised in Andersen's hometown Odense to be launched in connection with the international Andersen bicentenary in 2005. The exhibition draws on texts and image material from the collections of Odense City Museums included in a former version of the exhibition, which since 1999 has toured different countries worldwide.

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 exhibition offers a chronological introduction to the life of Hans Christian Andersen from his humble upbringing in Odense to international fame and royal patronage. An introductory film is included in the exhibition that focuses on the universal popularity the life and work of Andersen enjoys.

"We take great pride in the result of our endeavour - the international touring exhibition, Hans Christian Andersen 2005. We are confident that the exhibition will appeal widely to all people no matter their cultural background, gender or age. Hans Christian Andersen symbolises a global aspect of Danish cultural heritage, and with this exhibition we hope to enhance his position as a figure of world heritage," says Head of Department at Odense City Museums, Claus Koch.

Around the world
The exhibition will feature in 12 languages. 15 copies of the exhibition are set to tour the world. The 12 languages are: Danish, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

The international exhibition, Hans Christian Andersen 2005, created by Odense City Museums, will feature in 29 nations, but the list of host countries is growing. The Danish venues are the Møntergården City Museum, Odense and venues in Ballerup, Thisted, Struer, Silkeborg and Hornslet.