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Expo : Strasbourg's Golden Age

Written by ACM
Sunday, 27 April 2008

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Strasbourg's Golden Age : Beyond past Tragedies, "Paradise Garden" of a European Quatrocento, aspiring for a new Renaissance ?

Strasbourg's Golden Age, at the 15th Century, its "Quatrocento", is pictured mainly in 2 contrasting paintings, reveals Expo "1400" : Tragedy against Splendor : Christ's Crucification by a dominican painter, doesn't hide the atrocities of blatant cruelty. But "Paradise Garden" ("Le jardin de Paradis"), on the contrary, strikes by its beautiful, calm, intelligent, light colours, depicting the bright side of an opulent and human everyday life, among a luxurious Nature, typical of Alsace's fertility.

What relation between a so-called "Gothic" Art and the famous Italian "QuatroCento" ? From Rome to Wiena, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Koeln, Fribourg, Swiss Bern, and other cities, linked by rivers, lakes and seas, various artists cooperate in forging Strasbourg's original European style : It's precisely in 1423 that Strasbourg's cathedral became, for the 1st time, Europe's highest peak.

But finally, the brightest light, in sculptures and paintings, appears at a Mother's all too Human way to look after her beloved baby or child : In the way she holds it in her hands, plays together, or offers a flower out of a book's wisdom, etc. : A prefiguration of what became later Europe's Capital for Human Rights ?

The father is not far away : Astonishingly, the painters mirrored the father at the child's own face...

And may be, that's the point : Paradoxically, Strasbourg was called, then, "Argentina", from the Latin "Argentoratum", i.e. the "Silver City", as if it postponed its "Golden Age" for a Future time : Half a Millenium later, from 1400 to 2008, the exhibition looks as a symbol of a fresh wish for a new European Renaissance.


See it all (in French, oder Deutsch), from March to July 2008, at : http://www.strasbourg1400.com

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   Renew Europe's Historic Legend with Parthenon's pure white marble at the eve of crucial 2009 EU Elections, was the ambition of an interesting Art Exhibition, with more topical Symbols than expected, organized by EU Parliament's 1st vice-President Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou and MEP Marie Panayotopoulos- Cassiotou, Chair of the Inter-group on Family policy, during March A session in Strasbourg.     

According to the Ancient Legend, God Zeus, charmed by young Girl Europe, was trasformed into a strong Bull with Wings, and when she tamed him with Human affection, they flew over the Sea to live together in a New Land with large, fertile landscapes.  


- "There, they saw the Continent with a "Large Front" ("Eureia -opse" in Greek => Eur-opse => Europe)", reminded the Sculptor, Mary Papaconstantinou, of the European Women Association, honored by awards in Paris, Athens and Strasbourg.

    Thus, Europe's Legend combines Symbols of Energy and Strength, with caring Human personality, to bring towards New, large Horizons :

    - "Modern Art for this Ancient Greek Legend here in Strasbourg reminds that Europe, placing Human dignity at its heart, always finds the strength to overcome any Crisis towards New achievements. And EU Parliament offers Citizens a chance to artfully interact", said MEP Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou.

 

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    Structured like some Rembrand's pictural sequences, Europe's sculptural exhibition forms a series of many statutes, sized and flat as a PC screen, representing many scenes inspired from the original Legend, "according to Moschos' text, a Writer of the 2nd century B.C.", said Sculptor Mary to "EuroFora".  

    Made by sparkling pure white Marble full of Symbols, they incite to think but also to act, as in front of a Book with half of its pages full of written text, but another half, free to write on white paper..

    While several EU politicians think that one of the most important characteristics of the 2009 EU Elections is that from their outcome may depend Europe's Identity and Future, Culture Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras (a former MEP) send the message that, precisely, such modern Art linked to Historic legends may help "EU Citizens search the origins of Europe's Identity".

     - "The Legend says that they founded a New City, Thebes, and that reminds us that Europe is always a project of Invention and Creation", added EU Parliament's vice-President, Rodi Kratsa - Tsagaropoulou.

    Sculptor Mary Papaconstantinou said that she "tried for years to find the same White Marble from Penteli Mountain that was used by Praxitelis and all those who created Parthenon", symbol of Democracy and one of the 7 wonders of the World.

    - "By shaping this millenary Greek Marble to revive Europe's Ancien Legend with Modern Art, it reminds that Europe is a Hope for a better Future after Crisis, combining Energy for Development, with care for the Human person", said the sculptor's compatriot from Chios island, famous from French artist Delacroix's historic painting, MEP Panayotopoulos - Cassiotou.
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    She now lives with her Family close to Rhine river, at EU's heart, near Bonn, where had started to work for the first time on European issues the new EU Parliament's Secretary General, Klaus Welle :

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    By a symbolic coincidence, Europe's legend built anew with Parthenon's marble, marked for ever the beginning of young and energetic Welle's duties as new head of EU Parliament's administration, since he saluted the retiring, out-going S.G., the experienced Harold Rohmer, shortly afterwards, at another gathering on the same floor of Louise Weiss' superb building in Strasbourg...

    Organisers of both events said that it was a pure coincidence. People are free to believe them, or hope otherwise...


**********************

    They disagree in almost everything, except from one thing :

- EU Parliament's Art unites even opposed politicians in a common belief for Europe : Cyprus' example...


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Rarely united together, but posing for "EuroFora" with the statute of Europe and Zeus flying over the Sea, ChristianDemocrat/EPP's MEP Yannis Kasulides, a frontrunner Presidential candidate in 2008, former Foreign Minister and Government Spokesman, and EuroLeft's MEP Kyriakos Triantafylides, Chairman of EU - Palestinian Council delegation, from the governing party AKEL (new Left) of the elected President, disagree on almost everything, except from their common claim that Europe of the Ancient Legend, when she flew with God Zeus from Ancient Phynecia to the West, must have crossed the island of Cyprus !

Hard to prove the contrary, 3.000 years later...

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