Royals join residents for fairytale author's 200th anniversary02/04/2005 - 13:38:56
Thousands of people lined the cobblestone streets of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen’s birth town today to welcome royals and celebrities marking the 200th birthday of Denmark’s most beloved and famous author.
Young and old, residents of Odense waved red-and-white Danish flags and snapped pictures of the entourage of princesses, actors and sports stars who toured a museum dedicated to Andersen, author of such children’s classics as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Mermaid”.
A concert in Copenhagen will be the climax of three days of celebrations that have been meticulously planned for months.
Worldwide, some 3,000 events have been scheduled this year to honour the writer, from the unveiling of Andersen statues in Vietnam to writing competitions in New York schools and puppet theatre performances in Australia.
Royals from Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands joined celebrities including Australian Olympic gold medalist Cathy Freeman, British actor Roger Moore and Chilean author Isabel Allende for a tour of the Andersen museum, a modern building that incorporates the low, half-timbered, late 18th-century house where the writer lived as a child.
They were also set to attend an award ceremony during which American literary critic and scholar Harold Bloom will receive this year’s €50,000 Hans Christian Andersen Prize.
The party was scheduled to return for a concert at a Copenhagen soccer stadium featuring Tina Turner, Olivia Newton John, French musician Jean-Michel Jarre and American opera singer Renee Fleming.
The show will be televised live to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The giant birthday bash ends tomorrow with a reception in the capital’s city hall.
Born on April 2, 1805, Andersen was the son of a charwoman and a shoemaker. He was a well-known novelist in Denmark during his lifetime, but his worldwide popularity as a fairy tale writer came after his death.
Many of Andersen’s works have been adapted to film, including a 1952 musical classic starring Danny Kaye and the 1990s Disney’s cartoon “The Little Mermaid”.
more stories like this:
- once per day, no spam.