Friday, April 23, 2010

Grand Duke to attend World Expo 2010 - Shanghai

World Expo Shanghai begins 1 May and will wrap up on 31 October. Luxembourg has sent her most cherished lady to represent them during the Expo. No, it's not effervescent Maria-Teresa that will be showcased it is the shining Gëlla Fra.

During the "trial run" at the Expo more than 60,000 visitors lined up to see the Gëlla Fra. Removing this national treasure from her perch in the Place de la Constitution has not been without controversy. Many Luxembourgers (49%) were against removing this treasure (during during peak tourist season) for fear that she could be damaged in transit or while on display. These fears were realized when Gëlla Fra was severely damaged on purpose by workers at the foundry where she was to be restored prior to departure for China.

The Grand Duke is to attend the World Expo on 9-10 October. He will be present at the Luxembourg Official Reception on 9 October and the following day which has been deemed Luxembourg Day at the expo.

It is a courageous move for Luxembourg to send her national treasure to China. It is even more courageous and moving when you remember that the Gëlla Fra is a symbol of peace and freedom. I'm certain that the organizers of the Luxembourg pavilion are aware that China doesn't exactly have a history of respecting either of those 2 esteemed Luxembourg values. More than 70 million, mostly Chinese, visitors will attend the World Expo this year.

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