Cristina Confalonieri, left, a television personality, poses with Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, second from left, at City Hall in central Seoul, Thursday, during a ceremony to donate 130,000 face masks for the elderly and underprivileged. With them are Lee Youn-bae, third from left, president of the Community Chest of Seoul; and Hwang Yong-kyu, chairman of the Seoul Social Welfare Council. Confalonieri served as the "Seoul mayor for a day."
By Kwon Ji-youn
Cristina Confalonieri, a television personality from Italy, served as the "Seoul mayor for a day" on Thursday.
She became the 13th person to be so honored, and the first from another country.
During her day as mayor, Confalonieri accompanied Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as he carried out his official duties.
The event was designed to provide a channel of communication between Park and the citizens of Seoul, and to give them a chance to see what the mayor's day is usually like.
Confalonieri accompanied Park to a reading group, where she actively took part in discussion, a donation ceremony and several meetings.
A city official said she was selected because, as a foreigner, she would be more likely to recognize what aspects of the city need improvement in order to become more globalized.
"I was grateful to have been given such an opportunity," she said once her day came to an end.
Confalonieri, who was born in Italy in 1981 and came to Korea with her husband Kim Hyun-joon in 2007, is currently chief of the Yeoksam Global Village Center in southern Seoul, which is aimed at helping foreigners enjoy a trouble-free life in Seoul.
She is well-known for her appearance on "A Chat with Beauties," a KBS television program on which young foreign women shared their experiences living in Korea.