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Moscow to Honor Norwegian Polar Explorer and Diplomat Fridtjof Nansen

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Moscow to Honor Norwegian Polar Explorer and Diplomat Fridtjof Nansen


27.10.2011

Visitors to the Week on Nansen exposition in Moscow will learn new facts from the biography of an outstanding Norwegian scientist, Polar researcher and diplomat, Fridtjof Nansen, see photographs of the legendary man unknown to the general public and listen to his favorite music, ITAR-TASS reports.

Deputy head of the Norwegian diplomatic mission in Moscow Bord Ivar Svendsen said that the Norwegian side highly appreciates a big interest in their compatriot and a legendary man displayed in Russia. He was a unique person, a man of broad interests, a good scientist and an excellent diplomat who made a great contribution to the development of humanitarian projects in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia, the Norwegian diplomat said. He praised the exposition devoted to Nansen, saying its program is diverse and rich in content.

Natalia Budur, the Russian author of Nansen's biography, said in her book that Nansen skied across Greenland, sailed through Arctic ice to the North Pole and after being an ambassador got down to humanitarian activities and signed a very important document on the territorial integrity of Norway.

A conference held at the Sakharov Center in Moscow on Wednesday in the framework of the "Week of Nansen" is being attended by scientists from Russia and Norway and other visitors. Later in the day an exposition of photographs dedicated to Hansen will open to show Hansen’s activities in the field of repatriation of prisoners of war, assistance to the victims of famine in Samara and Saratov, the activities of Nansen Committee in Kharkov, his work at sessions of the League of Nations in which Nansen took part, a book published by the Nansen mission in bid to raise funds in aid to Russia, Nansen passports and other photographs.

In 2011 the world celebrates the 150th anniversary of Nansen's birth. Since 1919 after a period of scientific research in the North and until 1930 when Nansen died he fully devoted himself to humanitarian activities.

During a horrible period of famine in the Volga region in Civil War Nansen made heroic efforts to ensure food and financial aid to Russia from Europe and the United States and contributed his own funds, helped solve refugee problems. In 1922 Nansen became a first ever High Commissioner for refugees.

On the initiative of the International Red Cross the name of Fridtjof Nansen was given to passports issued to refugees from Russia. This widely used document gave a new lease of life in the West to Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rakhmaninov, Mark Shagal, Anna Pavlova and other bright representatives of Russian art and culture.

The name of the bright man was given to a lunar crater, islands of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, mountain peaks in Antarctica, Tien -Shan and Canada, an island in the Kara Sea. Many streets in world cities were named after the celebrated man. His name crowns an annual prize in the field of human rights awarded by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Nansen Refugee Award was created in 1954 in honor of Fridtjof Nansen, the legendary Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and politician.

Russkiy Mir Foundation Information Service

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