Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Alchemy in Arendal

Author: Paulo Coelho

The success story of how the city of Arendal was inspired by The Alchemist is one of the highlights of an exhibition marking the 20th anniversary of Coelho’s classic novel. The exhibition was shown at a big celebration event in Spain earlier this year and is now put up in Arendal!

In 2003 the city of Arendal was going through a rough time financially, and the motivation among the employees sank dramatically. The city council ordered 3.000 copies of The Alchemist and hoped for a miracle.The unorthodox plan turned out to be a success.

“After reading The Alchemist we all became aware of the importance of our visions, and that it is possible to make them happen.” Kjell Sjursen, leader of the city council

The story of the young Andalucian shepherd who follows his dream of finding a treasure was a great success with many of the employees in Arendal.They took the novels message: “When you really want something the whole Universe conspires to make your wish come through” to their heart. The Alchemist is still a source of inspiration in the city of Arendal and the story is often retold when delegates from other cities visit Arendal to learn more about their turnaround.

And therefore, now the employees will be able to see themselves exposed at the big exhibition “The Alchemy of Letters” which will be opened at Arendal new bibliotek on the 29th of September.

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