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Ambassador Maria Theresa P. Lazaro and Mayor Pagani in front of the Dr. Jose Rizal plaque.
(Photo credits:  Fabienne Muller,Geneva)

Geneva Mayor Mr. Remy Pagani speaks before guests at the unveiling ceremonies.
(Photo credits:  Fabienne Muller,Geneva)

Unveiling of Dr. Jose Rizal Plaque in Geneva

25 May 2010, City of Geneva- The Philippine Embassy in Berne reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that on 25 May 2010, a new plaque of Dr. Jose Rizal was unveiled in the City of Geneva by Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Ma. Theresa Lazaro and Mayor Remy Pagani of the City of Geneva. After the unveiling, a reception was hosted by   Mayor Pagani at La Brasserie des Halles de L’ile. 

The unveiling was witnessed by the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Berne, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and the Philippine Mission to the WTO , both situated in Geneva, as well as City of Geneva officials and Filipino community members from Geneva, Berne, Zurich , Basel and Fribourg. There were also officials from the United Nations and other international organizations.

The plaque was installed to commemorate the stay of Dr. Jose Rizal in  Geneva  from 6 to 20 June 1887 at the pension Bel Air located in 3 Rue de Rhone. At present, the pension is the headquarters of the Bank of Lloyds of London.   Rue de Rhone is presently, one of the most distinguished addresses in Geneva where Swiss banks, jewelry stores, and world famous brand name stores, are situated, among others. 

Dr. Jose Rizal stayed in Switzerland from 2 to 23 June 1887.  He stayed one night in Schaffhausen, the proceeded to Basel, Berne and Lausanne.  In Lausanne, he sailed on the Lake of Geneva, aboard a little steamer for the city of Geneva.

Rizal also translated the Swiss play William Tell written by Friedrich Schiller from German to Tagalog.  He translated William Tell to enable the Filipinos to know about the struggle of the Swiss people against the oppressive Hapsburgs.

It should also be noted that the Rizal monument at the Rizal park in Manila was designed by a Swiss sculptor Dr. Richard Kissling, who submitted his design to the Rizal Monument Commission on 11 October 1910.                       

Philippine Ambassador Maria Theresa P. Lazaro thanked the City of Geneva for “its recognition of the valuable contribution of the Filipinos to the City and the manifestation of the excellent relations between the Philippines and Switzerland”.
 
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