The Minister of Culture and Linguistic Policy of the Basque Government, Bingen Zupiria, has answered an interview about the animation feature “Elcano and Magellan, The First Voyage Around the World” and the unknown figure of Juan Sebastian Elcano. Here you have it!

Do you remember the first time you heard about ElKano? When you were a kid…

They taught us in Hernani’s ikastola, at school, who Elkano was. It was among the subjects of the school-project that we had to study. Then I heard about him in Getaria. When I was a child, I used to spend the summer in Getaria and friends from there told us about Elkano and showed us the places in the town related to his figure. The monument above the fronton was a magical place for us.

What values ​​does Elkano suggest you today?

On one hand, courage and adventure, and on the other, work. If I had to compare him with someone, I would do it with the representatives of our companies who travel today to Europe and to whole world searching work, business and wealth. Elkano embarked on the expedition of Magellan for searching a new route that would allow to bring spices from the Moluccan Islands to the kingdom of Castile, and he managed to return with the Nao Victoria ship full of spices.

Why do you think Elkano’s figure is so unknown in the world, and also in Euskal Herria?

Here, Elkano has disappeared from the schools’ educational system, and that is why it is difficult to know about him. And out from here, because he embarked on the expedition of Magellan and because what has endured has been the Portuguese brand. Very few authors have written about Elkano. Why will it be?

What reasons have led the Basque Government to support the animated film?

One of the reasons is that in our policies there is a clear commitment to animated films. On the other, because the professionals who decide the grants have found interesting the way in which the story about Elkano is told, and because the film production company in charge of the project is Dibulitoon Studio, an important company in our industry.

From the Ministry of Culture and Language Policy, which actions are being carried out to reinforce and publicize the figure and the legacy of Elkano?

I think it is important to reinforce the figure of Elkano. We want to promote research about him and promote the different creations around him. Here and all over the world. It’s our goal and we are going to make a lot of effort in this.

Do you like adventure movies?

Yes, very much.

If it is not too daring … who will you go to see the film “Elkano and Magellan, The First Voyage Around the World” with?

With some of my youngest nieces who want to enjoy an adventure movie.

If you had Elkano in front of you, just for a minute … What would you say him?

I do not know what I would say. Surely I would ask him a lot of things, until he got bored. For example, I would like to know what relationship he had with the Basque language. He was a basque who went to live to the court and he worked in Seville and in the sea. At home, when he was a young man, he would probably speak in basque with his mother and his uncle priest, and also with the people of Getaria. But did he keep the basque language, euskera, when he returned from the expedition? Would he speak in euskera with Urdaneta, the man fron Ordizia who signed his testament, and with his basque fellows of the expedition? Maybe he had the same customs that we have today with respect to the basque language, five hundred years ago …

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