Minister, your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure for me to open the exhibition “Possible Greenland” - the Danish Contribution to the 13th International Architecture Biennale - here in Venice.
Denmark and Greenland are linked by a long history. The countries are also linked by mutual friendship, family relations and common interests. Personally, I have had the privilege of visiting Greenland on many occasions throughout my life, and my fascination with this magnificent country in the Arctic has grown over the years into a deep respect and love for Greenland and its ever welcoming people.
I am convinced that everyone that visits Greenland for the first time will feel the same wonder and awe that I did, when I first set foot in Greenland. It is a country full of contrasts; the landscapes and the space are enormous - however, the population is small. The nature is breathtaking - and at the same time it is absolutely merciless. The contrasts between the different parts of Greenland are evident, and yet the similarities are many and obvious.
The many aspects of Greenland are often simply unimaginable and unexplainable – that is until you are actually there and experience the country yourself.
In the years to come Greenland is bound to gain even more attention from the rest of the world. As we speak, the Greenlanders are in the process of defining how they want to live in the future and which values, needs and wishes they want to carry forward in order to create sustainable growth for both the people and the nature. A process only the people of Greenland can lead.
The exhibition that we are opening today – “Possible Greenland” - is a project based on collaboration and cultural exchange between Greenland and Denmark.
The project seeks to create a space in which these values can be discussed passionately. I believe that this exhibition proves that the cultural exchange of skills, knowledge and competencies is a way to enhance both the Greenlandic and Danish field of architecture - and it could also be seen as a model for the rest of the cultural industry.
I consider the passion and enthusiasm shown to this project from a long range of participants as a positive affirmation that the ties between Greenland and Denmark are strong and vibrant – and will remain so in the many years to come.
I would like to thank the partners of “Possible Greenland” and of course the Greenlandic and Danish architects who have created the visionary projects that we are about to see in a few moments.
I would also like to thank the Danish Architecture Centre for the initiative and the Minister for Culture for inviting me to speak at the opening of “Possible Greenland”.
I hope to be able to revisit the exhibition when it travels hopefully to Greenland in the spring of 2013.
I hereby declare “Possible Greenland” - the official Danish contribution the 13th International Biennale in Venice - open.