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Rio looks to BHP’s birthplace

Tuesday, 11th October, 2011

EXCHANGE: Mayor Wincen Cuy greets Rio Tinto Mayor Rosa Caballero at Broken Hill Airport yesterday. EXCHANGE: Mayor Wincen Cuy greets Rio Tinto Mayor Rosa Caballero at Broken Hill Airport yesterday.

By Erica Visser

Rio Tinto Mayor Rosa Caballero has arrived in Broken Hill as part of a cultural exchange program planned between the two mining cities. 

Mayor Wincen Cuy said that the exchange was a good opportunity for Broken Hill and the small Spanish community to learn from one another. 

“They’re two of the largest mining companies - BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto - so it makes sense to band together,” Mayor Cuy said. 

“To get the mayor of Rio Tinto to Broken Hill is a phenomenal thing which will give us an opportunity to impart our knowledge to the future generations”. 

The exchange, which was initiated by EMED Mining Foundation, has been underway for a year with local artists visiting the town and vice versa.

Mayor Caballero, who arrived yesterday, said that she came to the city to learn ways to improve prospects in Rio Tinto, amongst plans to reopen the mine after almost a decade of closure.

“I think it’s good because our mines are not working and we don’t know how we can change things,” said Mayor Caballero.

“I love my town...but we don’t know how to exploit good tourist culture and Broken Hill has a lot to teach us about that.

“I think that we can learn some ideas from Broken Hill regarding culture, the tourism business and art exhibitions.” 

The visit coincides with a Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery exhibition which features the 18th Century etchings of Spanish painter, Francisco de Goya Lucientes, alongside local artists.

EMED Cultural Exchange Program Co-ordinator Robin Sellick said that the initiative was beneficial to both Rio Tinto and Broken Hill, as well as fellow mining town Banska Stiavnica, which is also involved.

“It acts on a number of different levels as it broadens horizons for the local art community and allows local artists to interact with those in Europe,” Mr Sellick said.

“It allows Broken Hill to work with a town just like their own but on the other side of the world.”

Mayor Caballero said that she liked Broken Hill’s outback scenery and will be in the city until Sunday.

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