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Estonia hires diplomatic dog to read news online

  • 2007-12-04
  • By Mike Collier
CYBERSPACE -- Estonia opened an 'embassy' in the internet-based virtual world SecondLife on Tuesday, 4 December.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Estonia must keep up with onlinetrends if it is to maintain is reputation as a hi-tech country. "Second Life's popularity as an alternative environment forinteraction has grown rapidly, which is why we decided to establish anembassy there," Paet said.

Art exhibits, concerts, lectures and other events will be organised inthe embassy. The first lecture, entitled "Back to the future," will begiven in January by Estonian Ambassador to Great Britain Margus Laidre.

According to Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Matti Maasikas,several other countries are planning to open virtual embassies inSecond Life, which means that the prominence of Second Life is growingin diplomatic circles.

"We expect people interested in Estonia, as wellas people interested in foreign relations and foreign policy, toparticipate in events at the embassy," said Maasikas.

The virtual embassy has a conference room, exhibition room, receptionhall and a technology room, where Estonia as an 'e-nation' is introduced.

But surely the main attraction will be the chance to see and hear Estonian news being read by a dog.