Chile honours Bono

President Ricardo Lagos presented U2 frontman Bono with Chile’s highest award for the arts, telling him he should learn to play the traditional Andean instrument known as the charango.

The arts medal is named after late Chilean Nobel Prize laureate Pablo Neruda, a poet Bono said he greatly admired. “He moved me very much,” Bono said of Neruda, who died in 1973.

During the ceremony at the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Lagos also presented Bono with a charango, a small lute-like Andean folk instrument.

“When we were talking before, Bono told me that one must study throughout one’s life,” Lagos said. “So for his next concert here, I hope he’s learned how to play the charango.”

It was not the only distinction for Bono during U2’s stop in Chile for a Sunday night concert before an expected crowd of nearly 80,000 in Santiago’s main soccer stadium.

Shortly before the concert, Bono received Amnesty International’s 2005 Ambassador of Conscience award, which was also granted to the other members of U2 – Edge, Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton and manager Paul McGuinness.

The ceremony was attended by Chile’s president-elect Michelle Bachelet, the nation’s first female leader, who is to be inaugurated on March 11.

“You are a reminder to all of us that the world is not changed only by politicians and governments,” Bachelet told the musicians. “The world is changed by all of us.”

After the ceremony, Bono met relatives of political dissidents who disappeared during the 1973-90 dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Bono has met leaders and received gifts during other stops on the band’s swing through Latin America.

While in Brazil he discussed the government’s anti-poverty programme with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and received a packet of condoms and anti-Aids information from the Health Ministry.

More in this Section

Richard and Judy set for return to famous TV sofaRichard and Judy set for return to famous TV sofa

Liam Gallagher reveals plans for first dance at his weddingLiam Gallagher reveals plans for first dance at his wedding

Westlife confirm second Cork gigWestlife confirm second Cork gig

The rise of Dave: From unknown teenage rapper to Mercury Prize winnerThe rise of Dave: From unknown teenage rapper to Mercury Prize winner


Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

More From The Irish Examiner