14. ágúst 1997
við opnun Ari Ergis sýningar í Buenos Aires
Speech by H.E. Mr. Halldór Ásgrímssonar
Minister for Foreign Affairs
at the opening of an art exhibit by Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon
Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be invited to open this exhibition of the work of Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon, a young and very talented Icelandic painter. Ari Alexander's experiences and background gives him a perspective that is quite remarkable for a man at his age.
Being an Icelander and a "Jakút" (Siberian) is a combination that would at first sight indicate coldness by those who are unfamiliar with this people. Icelanders are often thought of as cold and distant but like our country, under the surface burns fire that surfaces regularly. The background of Ari Alexander indicates the willingness and need to travel great distances and not to be tied down in one place for a long period of time. This need to travel is in the blood stream of the Icelandic nation.
Being small in numbers, the Icelandic nation considers itself one family and when a member of that family accomplishes something abroad that we think is of importance, our hearts fill with pride and we congratulate one another. The feeling of family is a strong feeling in Argentine society as well and we know that the Argentine people understand us and join us in our joy.
With Ari Alexander's exhibition here in Buenos Aires, we see once again that art has no borders and brings people of different nationalities and social background together. Art not only helps people of different background to learn and appreciate one other. It gives people a chance to express themselves without words. As such, art has neither a foreign accent nor language barriers.
We came here with a trade delegation to establish business ties with the Argentine people but it is as important to nourish cultural ties.
I would like to congratulate Ari Alexander on this successful exhibition and to express our thanks to the Centro Cultural Recoleta for making this exhibition possible.