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Artistic projects to mark Czech-German Declaration

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – A number of artistic projects, including exhibitions of painters and photographers, will be staged in the Czech Republic on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Czech-German declaration this year.

Like in the past, many of the events will be financed by the Czech-German Fund for the Future that was established on the basis of the Czech-German Declaration on Mutual Relations and their Future Development.

One of the first events to mark the anniversary will be a photographic exhibition entitled “They survived concentration camps.” It will be unveiled at the Culture Ministry’s seat in the Nostic Palace in Prague on the Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.

The event will follow up “the culture of remembering” promoted by current Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) who is also a member of the Czech-German Discussion Forum, one of the long-term projects financed by the Czech-German Fund for the Future.

“I can see the importance of Czech-German cooperation in this area primarily in two projects: a social one providing for the compensation of Nazism victims and a legal one within which legal regulations are compared with those of particular European countries that have coped with or are coping with the past,” Herman said.

Thanks to the signing of the declaration 20 years ago, Czech-German relations approached West European standards, he added.

Another photographic exhibition will focus on the Eastern Germans’ exodus to the West through the Prague embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1989.

The subsidised organisations of the Culture Ministry, that are the largest state cultural institutions, have prepared many events in memory of the Czech-German declaration.

The National Gallery (NG), in cooperation with the German embassy and the Goethe Institute in Prague, will open an exhibition of German painter Gerhard Richter, 84, the most expensive living artist.

The exhibition of his works from the past 60 years, which will be his first retrospective in Central Europe, is one of the NG’s major projects in 2017.

The Museum of Art in Olomouc, north Moravia, will present the works of Czech-German artist Adolf Hoelzl (1853-1934), a pioneer of modern abstract expression, in the context of Czech-German art of the first half of the 20th century, from April 6.

Experts compare his early abstract works to the authors of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group in Munich, mainly Wassily Kandinsky.

The Moravian Land Museum prepares an exhibition on the Czech-German declaration and Czech writer, diplomat and politician Jiri Grusa (1938-2011), who was ambassador to Germany and Austria and a leading personality of the Czech-German dialogue.

The museum also plans a permanent exhibition in the house where Grusa lived in Brno.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the declaration, the Terezin Memorial, north Bohemia, will host a commemorative event held by the Chamber of Deputies, the Federation of Jewish Communities, the Landtag of Bavaria and the Foundation of Bavarian Memorial on January 27.

The former garrison town Terezin (Theresiensatdt) served as an internment ghetto for European Jews during WWII, while the nearby Small Fortress turned into the Prague Gestapo prison. The memorial was opened there after the war.

A conference and discussion forum on artistic education in both countries will take place in the Goethe Institute in Prague in November.

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