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Home arrow newsitems arrow Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Tomi Ungerer Starts his 1st Year in Eternity : a Franco-German European to revisit USA on 2020 ?!

Written by ACM
Sunday, 01 December 2019
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*Strasbourg/Hilton/Angelo Marcopolo/- Invited by the Secretary General of the International Association of Tomi Ungerer's Friends, (AIATU in the Original in French), Robert Walter, Experienced former Long-Time Director of the Franco-German Cultural Center at nearby Karlsruhe, for the presentation to the Press of the very Serious, Annual "TomiScope" Review, naturally Focused on the Actuality of the Famous Humoristic Cartoonist and even CoE's PanEuropean"Ambassador"'s Brillant Work, "Eurofora" didn't expect to be, suddenly, propulsed at a Global, World-wide Horizon, in a more Topical Context than one could usually imagine, inviting to Travel accross Continents and throughout History, with a Spicy, Emotional and Imaginative Art.

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Naturally, when the AIATU's President, Constant Reibel, gave us, smiling, as a Gift, that precious "Collector's Item", which really is the "Number 20" TomiScope, due to Jump from 2019 to 2020, everybody expected -or, rather, Hoped- that it would Meet the Exceptional Challenge to gather, in its almost 100 large Pages, a lot of Interesting Data, pertinent Reminders, Revelations and/or News, that Inspired to his Best Friends,

tomiscope_december_2019_eurofora_400 

(including even the Young French President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who had Welcomed him at Elysée Palace), the Last "Joke" that Tomi played on Earth, by suddenly Jumping into Eternity, after More than 88 Years of a very Active and Creative Life, between 1931 and 2019.

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Earlier this Year, when the sympathetic Mayor of Nearby Kehl City at Neighbouring Germany, (Now Linked to Strasbourg not only by the "Europa Bridge", recently reinforced for High-Speed Trains, and even Bicycles, but Also by a Splendid Rhine River's "2 Shores Garden" and, at last, a popular Direct "Tram" Connexion, as if it had really Started to progressively Become One City for a foreseable Future), Tony Vetrano, (almost an Homonyme with Tomi !), a real Italian turned into a convinced Deutsch, and Ambitious enough as to try to Learn also French, as a Good European, had Welcomed the "Press Club" of Strasbourg in a well prepared Press Conference on the New, "Post-Tram" Era that was just Beginning for the 2 Cities, it's some Highly Symbolic Drawings of Ungerer on Franco-German Friendship and EU's core Integration, that Robert Walter, offered him as a Gift.

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Seated aside "Eurofora", Walter let us Notice the Fact that he had Offered, in Fact, 2, quite Different Ways to Imagine and Design a Joint Franco-German Future in Europe's Heartland : Both Interesting and Positive, one looked, however, even if equally ambitious, also a little-bit more ..."Techno" than the Other, which, on the Contrary, Focused on a very Simple but deeply Human Symbolic Image of 2 Friends rowing Together in 1 Boat through a splendid Nature... Curious to Find out which one Vetrano was going to Choose and show us all, or not, "Eurofora" soon saw that he had, indeed, chosen what looked as the most "Human" and SImple Version, (But Strong in Meening), almost at the Same Time that he Replied to one of Our Questions, during his Press-Conference, by, unexpectedly Pleading for what he named as the ..."Emotional" Character of "Border-line" Neighbouring Regions, which Share one and same Natural Border, (f.ex., here, a River, elsewhere, perhaps, a Mountain, etc)... Tomi Ungerer's Simple but Profoubd "Music" had worked just fine !     

But, Later this Same Year, we were genuinely Surprized to "Meet" anew Tomi Ungerer, this time Well Surrounded by Numerous among his Long-Time Friends, look at us all with a Kind but always Spicy Smile, High from the Top of Strasbourg Cathedral's Giant Roof, thanks to a Huge Image that himself and/or his Family and Pals had Chosen for the Ceremony of his Public Funeral, with the participation of several Confessions, and attended by a lot of People, clearly indicating his Popularity :

tomi_ungerer_cathedral_die_gedenken_sind_frei_eurofora_400

Soon, the well known, Traditional Song for "Freedom of Thought", ("Die Gedenken sind Frei"), with the eternal Schieffer, echoed its Music in that emblematic, Historic Christian Monument. It was for a Protestant, who Liked that Catholic Cathedral, even added to some Jewish Yiddish, etc, amidst a Visible Franco-German participation : A Real "Alsacian" in the Middle of Europe...

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- However, when, during Today's 3rd "Meeting" that we had with Tomi Ungerer and his Friends, during this Same Year 2019, at AIATU's Gathering in Strasbourg's "Hilton" Hotel, "Eurofora" asked Walter and Reibel whether it was feasible to have, more or less, a Digitalized Catalogue uniting together a Full Overview of all the Huge List of various and Numerous Works Created by the Artist during all his Life, in a way which would Facilitate also People's and Experts' Research of the most Pertinent Artworks, among Tens of Thousands of "Pieces", (roughly separated between his "Museum" in Strasbourg's superb Republic Square, aside CoE's Secretary General's House, which is also an Internatiobnal Center for Designers, and those still Kept by his Family, living in Ireland since a long time ago, added also to a 3rd Group reportedly assembled by the German art collector Würth, etc), the Reply, given by Walter, was, basically, that, while something like that Already exists, somehow, inside at least a Part of Strasbourg's Museum for Tomi, nevertheless, a Fully-fledged, Scientific and systematic, overall Work of that Kind, might, Probably, be undertaken, sooner or later, "by the University of Cork", in Ireland, as he guessed.

+ And, then, suddenly arrived the Real "Surprize" :  - During the Next Year of 2020, "a Big Lot", more than 500 Pages-long, is due to Emerge, "with Tomi Ungerer's ArtWorks on America !", Walter announced Today. I.e., by a Timely Coincidence, during the Same Year of the forthcoming Crucial USA's Presidential Elections...

- Indeed, Ungerer had Left Europe during the 1950ies, in order to Work in the USA, at New York, and didn't Return but Only during the 1970ies, Walter Reminded to "Eurofora". During all that Period of Time, he was Living and Working there, even if he personaly was Against the residues of Maccarthysm and Cold War, Racial Segregation, Vietnam War, etc., and, on the Contrary, Favorable for Detente, Civic Rights, and Peace, he observed.

Inter alia, it will be certainly Interesting to see, whether, Tomi Ungerer's best Artistic Creations, mainly at the World-Famous Times of the "Sixties" inside the USA, would Help Inspire and ReVive also in Nowadays Europe a Similar "Magic" ambiance, mutatis-mutandis.

Even if we know, Nowadays, that, by having Left from the USA on 1971, he did Not have yet the Time to experience there Nixon's Recognition of China, Detente with Russia, Peace Treaty with Vietnam, End of Segregation, etc : Richard Nixon, indeed, was Not Only the "Watergate" impeachment scandal, But much More in World's History !

Let's cross fingers, and see what will happen, in that regard...

 

 

(.../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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