HCA NEWS Belgian Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors

At a press conference in Brussels last Thursday, the Danish Ambassador to Belgium, Karsten Petersen, appointed five Belgian Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. Additionally, the Belgian Andersen bicentenary projects were presented.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 27 May 2004

Today, the Belgian Cartoon Strip Museum in Brussels hosted a press conference where Danish Ambassador to Belgium, Karsten Petersen, appointed five Belgian Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. Additionally, Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, presented the Belgian 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary projects.

"Hans Christian Andersen had much to say and was not afraid of expressing himself. Andersen wrote about death, evil, poverty, love, being a misfit, being small or quite simply being a child. He wrote in order to understand himself and the world he lived in. The story of his life and the fairytales he wrote reflect a deep and very modern understanding of the human condition," Karsten Petersen said at the press conference.

Following his speech, Ambassador Karsten Petersen presented the five Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors with the official 24-carat red and white gold Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador needles and the official Hans Christian Andersen dinner services, designed by Lin Utzon.

"This press conference today shows that the Belgians share Hans Christian Andersen?s wide horizon. The whole world was home to Andersen, and he could think of no greater joy than to roam about that home. He always had an open mind and challenged his own horizons. He always brought magic to the world around him," said Lars Seeberg.

Education, tourism, and art
He then continued to announce the HCA2005 projects and emphasized that education, tourism, art and culture will be the main focus of the bicentenary celebration, and that all three aspects will be widely represented in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Within education, the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation in collaboration with the Danish University of Education has developed an educational programme offering Andersen related resources, which will be made freely available on our web site. These resources will allow elementary school teachers to draw inspiration from and investigate new approaches to the literary world of Hans Christian Andersen.

Within tourism, the Danish Tourist Board invites the citizens of Belgium and Luxembourg to visit Hans Christian Andersen's Denmark and the many international events on offer ? such as concerts, exhibitions, plays and operas ? that mark the Andersen bicentenary in Denmark.

Within art and culture, the Danish Culture Institute in Brussels offers excursions to castles in both Belgium and Luxembourg with a programme featuring music, literature readings and an international exhibition created in collaboration with the Odense City Museums. The Andersen events will feature at local festivals, literature competitions and city initiatives. The international house of literature, Passa Porta, in Brussels will set up workshops on Andersen, and the Comic Strip Museum in Brussels will host an exhibition of Belgian comics related to the Danish storyteller.

Finally, Lars Seeberg announced a dance performance by Jan Fabre. The performance "History of Tears"/"Histoire des larmes" is inspired by bodily fluids and especially the many tears featured in Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales: The tears of pain and despair, but equally those of happiness and joy. In short, all the tears in the world. The performance will be co-produced with DeSingel International Arts Centre and will premiere at the Cour d'Honneur in the Papal Palace in Avignon before touring the world.