– New app against illegal art trade


Cultural news

Wednesday November 10, 2021

New app against illegal art trade

A new app is intended to make it easier to identify illegally traded archaeological cultural assets. State Minister for Culture Monika Grütters presented a corresponding pilot project in Berlin, which the federal government is funding with 500,000 euros. The app will initially be tested at ten police and customs services. Objects should be compared with a database for identification. In addition to information about age and country of origin, the app also gives warnings if the cultural asset is reported as stolen. The prototype of the app was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology and the software company cosee. The test phase should run until the end of the year.

Actor Dean Stockwell has died

The actor Dean Stockwell is dead. As reported by the industry magazine “Deadline”, citing a family spokesman, he died on Sunday of a “natural cause” at the age of 85 in Los Angeles. Stockwell was already on the stage on New York’s Broadway at the age of seven. In a career spanning more than 70 years, he played in Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” and in David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet”, among others. Perhaps his best-known role was that of Admiral Al Calavicci in the NBC science fiction series “Back to the Past”.

Audray Azoulay remains UNESCO Secretary General

Unesco Secretary General Audray Azoulay has been confirmed in office. At the start of the General Conference, the French woman was elected by a large majority for a second term at the head of the United Nations cultural organization. Azoulay was the only candidate. Unesco is the UN organization for education, science, culture and communication. During her first term in office, Azoulay tried to alleviate political tensions between the member states. She also sought rapprochement with Israel and the USA, both of which had declared their withdrawal from Unesco.

Deutsche Welle’s Afghanistan campaign

Deutsche Welle has flown out 23 family members of employees in Afghanistan. Intendant Limbourg welcomed the group after they landed in Qatar. He said he was pleased and grateful to the Foreign Office and the government of Qatar for their support. Since the Taliban came to power, relatives of Afghan journalists working abroad have also been in danger, said the German international broadcaster in Bonn. Deutsche Welle claims that it is trying to get more families of its employees in the Afghanistan editorial team to safety.

Queen Marie-Antoinette’s bracelets auctioned

Two bracelets of the French Queen Marie-Antoinette, composed of a total of 112 diamonds, were auctioned in Geneva for the equivalent of over seven million euros. According to the auction house Christie’s, the two bracelets changed hands within five minutes. Christie’s had only estimated the value at 1.8 to 3.7 million euros. Marie-Antoinette was the last queen of France before the Revolution, she was guillotined in October 1793 at the age of 37. According to Christie’s, she had commissioned the diamond bracelets from a Parisian jeweler in 1776. Before she and her husband Louis XVI. and tried to flee France with her children, she sent her jewels to Brussels. From there they were later passed on to relatives in their home country Austria. According to expert Olivier Wagner from Sotheby’s auction house, there is currently a great demand for “historical jewelry”, especially among Asian buyers.

Nobel laureates in literature with an appeal to Belarus

Nobel laureates in literature, Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Müller, Swetlana Alexijewitsch and Olga Tokarczuk appeal to EU institutions to “solve the crisis on the EU’s external border with Belarus as quickly and effectively as possible”. “Let’s not turn our gaze away from the tragedy!” Reads the writers’ open letter published by the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. It is addressed to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and the Members of the European Parliament. At the EU’s external border between Poland and Belarus, the situation with thousands of stranded migrants is currently worsening. “The Polish government has imposed a state of emergency in the border strip between Poland and Belarus, on the basis of which it refused to provide help to the sick and dying in the border zone to the doctors and paramedics and blocked the media from accessing the tragedy that was taking place there,” the four write Authors. They appeal to the EU institutions to adhere to the resolutions of the Geneva Refugee Convention and, in particular, to grant access to the asylum procedure to all who ask for it and are held at the eastern EU border.

Franz Rogowski nominated for film award

The German actor Franz Rogowski has been nominated for the European Film Award. This was announced by the European Film Academy, along with other nominations, at noon in Seville. The 35-year-old Rogowski is suggested for his role in the drama “Große Freiheit”. In it he plays a man who has to go to prison in post-war Germany for being gay. The German director Maria Speth also has a chance – her film “Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse” has been nominated as best European documentary film. In it she accompanied an unusual teacher and his school class for a long time. There are five titles to choose from as the best feature film this time. In “The Father”, Anthony Hopkins plays a man suffering from dementia – the Oscar winner has also been nominated for best actor. Also in the running are the Cannes winning film “Titane”, the dramas “Compartment No. 6” and “Quo Vadis, Aida?” and “The Hand of God” by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino. The European Film Prize is the local equivalent of the American Oscar. The awards will be presented on December 11th in Berlin.

France returns African cultural goods to Benin

After years of preparation, France has finally returned 26 works of art to their country of origin, Benin. The culture ministers of both countries signed the handover certificate to applause. “It is a symbolic, touching and historic moment,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. His colleague from Benin, Patrice Talon, who had specially traveled to Paris, thanked him on behalf of his country. The number of works is small, but the symbolic significance of the return is great. In a keynote address in Burkina Faso in 2017, Macron undertook to return the first African cultural goods within five years. This should also help to put relations with African countries on a new footing. There are around 90,000 works of art from Africa in French museums. Many of them were stolen during colonial times.

Bachakademie Stuttgart is 40 years old

The International Bach Academy Stuttgart celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The program for the anniversary season includes Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and his B minor Mass, works by Bach’s son Johann Christian, works by Bruckner and Hindemith and concert operas by Handel and Orff, announced the Bach Academy. The Gaechinger Cantorey, ensemble of the International Bach Academy, also wants to travel to Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig and Paris for guest performances. A tour in the USA is also planned for 2022. The International Bach Academy Stuttgart was founded on November 16, 1981 to keep the legacy of the world-famous composer alive. Over the decades, the Bach Academy has become one of the world’s most important centers for Bach care.

Veiled triumphal arch attracted millions of visitors

The wrapping of the triumphal arch in Paris, which was still being prepared by the artist Christo, attracted six million visitors in around two weeks. Of these, 3.2 million were tourists, of which 1.1 million had come specially for the work of art, it was announced at a press conference. The remaining 2.8 million were people from Paris and the surrounding area. The installation was on view from September 18 to October 3. The Parisian landmark was covered with 25,000 square meters of silvery-bluish fabric and tied with 3,000 meters of red rope. The artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude – known in Germany primarily for the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995 – had planned the project in Paris for decades. After Jeanne-Claude’s death, Christo went on alone and completed plans and drawings. But he did not see the realization either. The artist died in New York on May 31, 2020 at the age of 84.


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