Gary Diskin - Oct 25, 2010
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Chile hopes to attract more visitors thanks to the mine ordeal, which had 33 miners trapped for 69 days. There are even plans to build a museum with a hope theme in the future at the site itself.


It is said that every cloud has a silver lining. In the case of the poor miners who had to go through the equivalent of hell in claustrophobic terms, the lining comes in the form of the Chileans’ hope of attracting more foreign visitors in light of their ordeal. Almost the whole world was gripped by this unusual event, which could persuade people to come to Chile in the future as a result.

We can see examples of human fascination with the horrific suffering of others all around the world. Genocide museums in Poland, Cambodia and Rwanda are just a few examples. The museum of torture in Prague is also growing in popularity. Few people would admit it; but the more brutal the suffering seems to be, the more likely it is to attract interest. And what could be more terrifying than 69 days underground without the guarantee of getting out?

As Chile celebrates its 200th anniversary of independence from Spain and recovers from the 8.8 earthquake in February, there have also been whispers about the opening of a museum at the mine, with hope being the underlying theme. The miraculous nature of the miners’ survival may not compete with the virgin birth or the turning of wine into water, yet the international interest in the event may make it seem that way to many visitors. As shown in Oswiecim, Kigali and Tuol Sleng, making money out of other peoples’ misery is no longer the great taboo it used to be.

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