A fragment of Viñales meteorite fallen on 1 February 2019 in that locality of Pinar del Río province was delivered in a moving ceremony to the Natural History Museum of Vienna.
In the presence of outstanding personalities from the Austrian scientific guild, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, journalists, and Cuban residents; the Ambassador of Cuba to Austria, H.E. Mr. Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, on behalf of the Republic of Cuba, delivered the donation that will be part of the greatest and oldest world´s meteorite collection treasured in the prestigious institution.
The Cuban diplomat stressed the Cuban and Austrian professionals´ dedication, competence, and passion for science that made possible the arrival to Austria and to the Natural History Museum of a sample of Viñales meteorite; particularly to Dr. Ludovic Ferrière, Senior Curator of the Museum's Meteorite Collection; to the Cuban Institute of Geophysics and Astronomy, attached to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment; and to Dr. Manuel Iturralde, Emeritus Academician of the Cuban Society of Geology, who coordinated a meteorite study team and shared a fragment of the rock and the results of his research with the Austrian institution.
The Director of the Natural History Museum of Vienna, Dr. Christian Köberl expressed his appreciation to Cuba for its contribution to the valuable collection at the time that he highlighted the importance of the scientific collaboration for the collective benefit.
On the other hand, Dr. Ferrière made a presentation on the characteristics of Viñales meteorite, based on the Cuban team´s research and his particularly. The outcomes were stated in a poster.
Cuban musicians residing in Austria enlivened the event playing pieces of the traditional Cuban rural repertoire.
The event concluded with the placing of Viñales meteorite in the showcase from where it could be gazed at, next to 1100 similar samples, by the thousands of visitors of the Natural History Museum of Vienna from this moment on.