After nearly six months of planning, the Chilean Embassy in the United States—headed by Ambassador Arturo Fermandois—is refining the final details for the opening of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History in Washington, D.C., on the historic rescue of the 33 Chilean miners last October.
The exhibit is called “Against All Odds: Rescue at the Chilean Mine.”
The 33 miners were trapped over 2,000 feet below the surface of the Earth for 69 days from August to October 2010. The Chilean navy together with NASA constructed the capsules that extracted the miners one-by-one in a television event that gained substantial international attention.
Although U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be able to attend the opening ceremony in the museum, she will meet with both Ambassador Fermandois and Chilean Foreign Relations Minister Alfredo Moreno.
Several Chilean politicians, including Moreno, Fermandois and Mining Minister Hernán de Solminihac, attended a private tour Wednesday afternoon alongside some of the rescued miners themselves, including Mario Sepúlveda, José Henríquez, Carlos Barrios and Jorge Galleguillos.
Sepúlveda is one of the most recognizable of the 33 miners. He was the second to be lifted out of the mine, and immediately electrified onlookers both at the San José Mine in Copiapó and those watching from home by energetically running around, giving people high fives and emotionally leading chants of “CHI-CHI-CHI, LE-LE-LE, VIVA CHILE!” among the onlookers.
His antics earned him the nickname “Super Mario.”
The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, Aug. 5, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the collapse at the San José mine. The exhibit is located in the Geology, Gems and Minerals section of the museum, in the east wing of the second floor.
By Zach Simon – The Santiago Times