Massimo Tarenghi honoured by Chilean Senate

Nationality by Special Grace Granted to ESO’s Representative in Chile

8 November 2012

On 31 October 2012, the Chilean Senate unanimously voted to grant Chilean nationality by special grace to Massimo Tarenghi, Representative in Chile of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in recognition of his great contribution to the development of astronomy in Europe and Chile. This is the first time that a representative of an international organisation has been granted this honour.

During the session, Senator Guido Girardi highlighted the work done by Tarenghi in Chile since 1976, first as an astronomer and then as an ESO staff member working on the construction of ESO’s telescopes in the north of the country. The senator stressed the valuable contribution of Tarenghi in the development and construction of the New Technology Telescope (NTT) at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio observatory, of which ESO is the European partner, near San Pedro de Atacama. Tarenghi is a former director of Paranal and ALMA.

Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, who submitted the proposal in July, described the award of Chilean nationality by special grace to Massimo Tarenghi as an honour to the person and to the organisation he represents. "To be given Chilean nationality by special grace is something that has happened before, but to grant this to a scientist is something very unusual in our culture. Moreover, this is the first time that a representative from an international organisation has received this recognition for his notable contribution to the country," Letelier said.

"Massimo Tarenghi has played a major and valued role at ESO for many years, most recently as our Representative in Chile. We are not only very happy on his behalf that he has received this distinction, but also deeply honoured as an organisation, as it is a measure of the close partnership between ESO and our host nation," said Tim de Zeeuw, the Director General of ESO.

The Chilean Chamber of Representatives is expected to ratify the initiative in the upcoming days.


Francisco Rodriguez
Observatorio Europeo Austral (ESO)
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +5624633019

About the Announcement



Massimo Tarenghi is awarded Chilean nationality by special grace
Massimo Tarenghi is awarded Chilean nationality by special grace