Articles in Art and Culture News
The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. Its collections comprise nearly three million items, including imperial porcelain, superb Rembrandts, ancient cameos, Madonnas by Da Vinci, marble sculptures by Canova, colorful paintings by Matisse, and a large numismatic collection. Although the exhibits occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, only a small fraction of its outstanding collection can be displayed at any given time. To make these art works available to as wide a public as possible, the Hermitage has opened several branches abroad, the oldest and largest of which is Hermitage Amsterdam.
Efforts are being made worldwide to stop the tide of language endangerment and extinction. One group that has recently made efforts to return to its linguistic roots is Christian Arabs of the Middle East. A campaign is now underway to revive the Aramaic language by teaching it at elementary schools, in Jish (Israel) and Beit Jala (PA).
City slogans are almost always upbeat, but the positive messages that they are meant to convey are sometimes contradicted by the policies enacted by their own city governments. Such is the case in regard to the southern California town of El Monte (population 113,000), which advertises itself with the motto: “Welcome to Friendly El Monte.” Lately El Monte has been anything but friendly to its own employees. In a case that is getting international attention, the city fired 13 lifeguards and a swimming pool manager for making an innocent spoof video of the global YouTube sensation “Gangnam Style” in the municipal pool, despite the fact that they did so on their own time, using their own resources
The small country of Slovenia is often noted as the most prosperous former-communist state. The Economist, however, is concerned about a possible Slovenian financial meltdown, warning that “if Slovenia succumbs, it would be the first former communist country in the euro area to need aid. And once again the badge of honour of joining the zone would have become a mark of humiliation.” Recent news reports on the former Yugoslav republic, however, are more inclined to fret about the sausage struggle currently pitting Slovenia against both Austria and Croatia.
The picturesque Venetian skyline has remained virtually unchanged since 1514, when St. Mark’s Campanile—the city’s largest structure—reached its current shape. Although past its prime in the early 16th Century, Venice remained a center of trade and manufacturing, even ruling directly over Crete, Cyprus and much of the Dalmatian coast.
A Mardi Gras carnival parade along Princess Street brings a taste of New Orleans to Scotland’s capital as the opening event of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival that gets underway this weekend.
Khoisan tribes, along with their traditions and languages, have recently become the focus of attention in South Africa. Khoisan leaders participated in a series of public meetings on the revision of the national public holidays policy. In a separate development, Cape Town has seen the erection of a sign noting the city’s name in a Khoisan language.
The 25th annual festival of Veps culture “The Tree of Life” took place in the first weekend of July, in the village of Shyoltozero in Karelia, on the shores of Lake Onega.
A development dispute surrounding the destruction of ancient ruins in Beirut stirs debate and reflection on the nation’s past.
On Saturday June 23, 2012, the Dolce&Gabbana fashion house unveiled its men’s Spring-Summer 2013 collection as part of the Milan Fashion Week, bridging between two very distinct regions of Italy.
Representatives of 21 nations convened in St Petersburg, Russia on June 24, 2012 to consider additional sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, as well as to discuss measures for protection of 35 sites already listed.
The Indian state of Gujarat has recently decided to amend its educational curriculum by removing “all the derogatory or implied references to surnames, castes, religion, profession, region.” The reforms go so far as to prohibit the use of students’ surnames—a caste “give away”—in the classroom.
Pop music is usually the domain of young—sometimes even teenage—stars, but Russia’s latest pop music sensation is a band of nine women whose ages range from 44 to 86. Perhaps even more surprising than their age is the fact that they come from the village of Buranovo in Russia’s internal republic of Udmurtia.
On May 24, debates in Ukraine’s Parliament, the Rada, turned physical after members of opposition parties blocked access to the podium for the ruling Regions party lawmakers who sought to defend a language law.
Fior D’Italia has been serving diners since 1886 but it took its final orders from customers on May 21, 2012. Fior D’Italia claimed to be the oldest Italian restaurant in the U.S., which is perhaps surprising, given that most Americans of Italian ancestry now live on the East Coast.