Who was Captain Alexandro Malaspina?

September 30, 1999 - 5:00pm

The man, his explorations, his political thought and the intrigue that saw him fall from grace with the Spanish court will be explored in a symposium called "Alexandro Malaspina: Enlightenment Thinker?" on Friday, October 22, at Malaspina University-College.

"Despite the fact that Captain Malaspina's voyage of discovery for the Spanish Navy has been acclaimed as the most important scientific expedition of its century, and the longest (1789 to 1794) in the history of explorations, it was never granted the recognition it deserved," said Liberal Studies instructor John Black. "In fact, Malaspina's journals, research and discoveries were suppressed until 1885 when his journal was finally published in Spain."

Speakers at the October 22nd Inaugural Symposium will explain the mystery surrounding Captain Alexandro Malaspina. Speakers will set the historical background for Malaspina's explorations and political thought, take the audience sailing the North Pacific with Captain Malaspina, and explain the downfall of Malaspina, the enlightenment thinker, in the Spanish court.

The symposium is hosted by the Alexandro Malaspina Research Centre with the Vancouver Spanish Pacific Historical Society, and the Spanish Ministry of External Affairs, Madrid, Office of Cultural and Scientific Relations.

The symposium will be held in the Arts & Science building 355, lecture theatre 203 at 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served after the presentations.

In addition to the symposium, there is an exhibit at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, "Nootka: Return to a Forgotten History" which features photographs of drawings from Malaspina's explorations of the west coast of Vancouver Island. The photographs are a gift from the Spanish government to the Mowachaht First Nations people. The exhibit opening will take place at 4:30 pm at Nanaimo Art Gallery, Friday October 22 and will be on display for the following week.

For more information contact Dr. John Black, Liberal Studies, 753-3245, local 2171, or email: black@viu.ca.

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