Festival Chief Given Knighthood

Terschellings Oerol Festival chief Joop Mulder has been appointed a knight in the order of arts and literature by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The news that he was the "Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres" came June 10, three days before this year’s mix of world music, theatre and dance opened on the North Sea island of Terschelling, the Netherlands.

French minister Christine Albanel said the award is for Mulder’s "achievements in the dissemination of French culture and performing arts throughout the world."

During the past 25 years more than 100 French groups have performed at Oerol, which has become such a landmark event and attracts so many visitors that the population of Terschelling will increase from 3,500 to more than 50,000 June 13-22.

Mulder says the award emphasizes the international nature of Oerol and demonstrates the profile it has outside the Netherlands.

The decorations accompanying the ministerial Order will be presented later this year by the French ambassador.