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Will the new Franco-German cultural alliance will reach far and wide

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

By Alex Stuart

When Merkel and Macron shook on the terms of the Franco-German friendship accord ‘Aachen Treaty’ in January, the countries committed to establishing joint cultural institutions in Rio de Janeiro, Iraq, Sicily and Kyrgyzstan. Our beloved Goethe-Institut is teaming up with the Institut Français to make the magic happen, with all employed staff to be bilingual. Klaus Dieter-Lehmann, President of the Goethe Institut, said in a statement: “The joint cultural institutions are independent spaces of freedom, creativity and understanding with a shared responsibility for a European cultural space that will invigorate dialogue with the world.” A second wave will see further joint institutions popping up in Ulan Bator, Manchester, Pristina, Juba in South Sudan, and Mariupol in Ukraine.

Artwork of the week

An appropriately chilly pastel work for our current cold stint, Schlittschuhläufer by Adolph Menzel is a clear precursor to Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas, with its bustling society scenes, animated with a sketched style and bursts of primary colour. It reminds of Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge portrayals. Menzel and Caspar David Friedrich are considered to be the two most important German painters of the 19th century. View the work and FAZ’s insightful analysis here.


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