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Minister reveals literary talent

Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz has composed the libretto to a musical work honouring Henri Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This new side to the minister was revealed by Friday’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper.

The piece, composed by Gion Antoni Derungs to mark the 100th anniversary of Dunant’s death, will be premiered on October 30 in the town of Heiden in eastern Switzerland, where Dunant spent the last 23 years of his life.

It recounts Dunant’s life in five episodes, but the text is being kept top secret until the first performance.

Merz wrote the libretto in the space of two weeks during the summer break of 2007, the paper said.

It is not his first literary endeavour: he published a book of short stories in 1992. and agencies

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