The purpose of "Hans Christian Andersen 2005" is to ensure that as many people as possible - both in Denmark and abroad - attain a greater and more nuanced familiarity with the writer.
Through Hans Christian Andersen 2005, everyone can have access to comprehensive knowledge, information and insight into Hans Christian Andersen's works and the man himself, and the celebration offers an opportunity to take a closer look at Denmark's national storyteller and poet. It is worth considering whether the image of Hans Christian Andersen that has been established over the years has become too narrow and constrained in relation to what the man and his writings can and should communicate to us today.
The idealised Hans Christian Andersen should give way to a full human portrait of the writer. He was a storyteller for children of all ages, but he was more than that. He was a critical journalist with great enthusiasm for science, an existential thinker, an observant travel book writer, a passionate novelist, a deft paper cut-out artist, a neurotic hypochondriac and a sex-fixated eccentric. He was a man with demons, dreams, yearnings and visions. He was a man of flesh and blood.
Therefore, Hans Christian Andersen 2005 aims to be a broad, all-encompassing project that has room for both very large productions and projects with wide popular appeal and more marginal productions tailored toward particular target groups.
To promote the goals of Hans Christian Andersen 2005, a committee of "Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Ambassadors", consisting well-known personalities - primarily from the arts, will be established to foster international awareness of Hans Christian Andersen 2005. The Ambassadors will be selected from among the most distinguished and creative celebrities of each country, and their appointment will mark the opening of Hans Christian Andersen 2005 in the country in question.
In addition, all Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Ambassadors will be invited to the opening ceremony in Copenhagen on 1-2 April 2005 and to the closing ceremony in Odense on 6 December 2005. Both events will be broadcast live by television to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
In 2005, Hans Christian Andersen will be reborn as a writer in full flower. 2005 will be a year for deeper insight, education, enlightenment and opportunities for development. The qualities contained in the universe of Hans Christian Andersen are of inestimable value and should be celebrated throughout the world. His genius lies in the fact that he has something vital to convey to children and adults alike. His writings contain universal truths about human nature and psychology, crucial to the development of every individual.
Hans Christian Andersen has something to give us all.