HCA NEWS Isabel Allende appointed HCA Ambassador

HRH Crown Prince Frederik has appointed Isabel Allende as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador at Rosenborg Castle

By on - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 30 September 2004

Today, 30 September at 11 am, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik appointed the world-famous Chilean author Isabel Allende as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. The ceremony took place in historical settings in the magnificent Long Hall at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen. The press conference was hosted by the Chilean Ambassador to Denmark and the Rosenborg Castle in association with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

Along with the First Lady of Chile, Luisa Durán de Lagos, who was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador in January 2004, Isabel Allende is to promote the wider awareness and appreciation in Chile of Hans Christian Andersen and the humanitarian HCA-abc Foundation, which has been established to address illiteracy worldwide in the name of Hans Christian Andersen.

The newly appointed Hans Christian Andersen ambassador expressed her pride and happiness:
- I grew up with Hans Christian Andersen tales. I knew almost all of them by heart, and I dreamed of becoming a storyteller, like him. To be appointed Ambassador to the celebration of Hans Christian Andersen?s bicentenary is the most magic of all the honours that one could possibly receive.

HRH Crown Prince Frederik presented Isabel Allende with the official 14-carat red and white gold Hans Christian Andersen pin and the official Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador diploma designed by the Danish designer Lin Utzon.

Present at the appointment were the Danish Minister of Culture, Brian Mikkelsen, Secretary General for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, the Chilean Ambassador to Denmark, Jaime Lagos, the Danish Ambassador to Chile, Anita Hugau, and Director of Rosenborg Castle, Knud Liebgott.

Secretary General for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Lars Seeberg, expressed his satisfaction with the appointment of the great author:
- Isabel Allende, just like Hans Christian Andersen, shows us a world of magic. In her novel The House of Sprits, the cups dance as if they had come to life, just as toys in Hans Christian Andersen?s world they had their own game to play. But most importantly, both authors express great love of storytelling and capture their readers with an enchanted realm that seeks to show just how rich life is. It is a great pleasure for me that Isabel Allende has accepted her appointment as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador, and I have no doubt she will prove a great asset in the Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial celebration.

The Chilean Ambassador to Denmark, Jaime Lagos, expressed his enthusiasm with the appointment of Isabel Allende. He emphasised her great commitment to the welfare of children and women and her eminent contribution to democracy and human rights. Isabel Allende plays a prominent role in addressing illiteracy worldwide. Jaime Lagos motivated the appointment with the following words:
- Isabel, we know how much you love sunshine, particularly in California and Chile, places so dear to you. And certainly freedom, since you have been a passionate defender of democracy and human rights. Now Denmark, through its Crown Prince, gives you a precious and delicate "flower" which you will surely always carry with you and make blossom across the continents: the worthy representation of Hans Christian Andersen as his Ambassador.

Furthermore, Jaime Lagos mentioned the collaboration between the Chilean Ministry of Culture and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, which has sponsored the publication of The Book of Questions - Andersen-Neruda that features an imaginary dialogue between the Chilean author Pablo Neruda and Hans Christian Andersen. Through his writing, Andersen answers the questions posed by Pablo Neruda in his work The Book of Questions from 1974.

Paula Larrain, who is a news anchor at Danish national broadcaster DR1, hosted the event. Paula Larrain is born in Chile, and just as Isabel Allende she has suffered a life in exile. She feels strongly attached to the country she was forced to flee following the 1973 military coup against Salvador Allende. Paula Larrain has related her longing for her homeland in her book I morgen skal vi hjem (Tomorrow we Return).

The Danish Royal Guard Drums and Fifes performed a fanfare in honour of HRH Crown Prince Frederik. Danish actress Susse Wold, who has been appointed Danish Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador, recited Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Teapot in English. Furthermore, the Rialto Theatre staged a performance of Danish and South American music. Danish musicians Anders Ahnfelt-Rønne, Lars Rønne Olsen, and Kim Sjøgren accompanied the Swedish mezzo-soprano Maria Streijffert in a moving lullaby, and actress Karen-Lise Mynster recited poetry by Pablo Neruda.

Rosenborg Castle is an active player in the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary and is set to open an exhibition entitled The Greatest Fairy Tale: The Amazing Story of Hans Christian Andersen, which will tour internationally. The event is organised by the United Exhibits Group and will open in April next year. The exhibition portrays the life, fairytales, and art of Hans Christian Andersen and will feature in a temporary exhibition pavilion that will take the shape of a gigantic book. The same month, on the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II on 16 April, Rosenborg Castle will open an exhibition of ivory artwork entitled Det tredje skatkammer The Third Royal Treasury.