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A culture clash as musical

A culture clash as musical

By Martin Pütter, picture: Florian Beck The Basel Mission celebrates its 200th anniversary with a musical: “The White man’s Grave” allows a small insight into hopes, either fulfilled or dashed, of people from two different continents. Anybody who has ever lived in a foreign country knows that even tiny cultural differences can make life just slightly harder than expected. Add to that factors like religious belief, traditions and a completely different climate, then personal hopes, expectations and defined goals are under severe pressure. Not everybody can handle that. Some of the members of the Basel Mission, that was founded 200

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Comments Off   |  02/04/2015 Culture, Uncategorized

Gilbert & Sullivan – like Lennon & McCartney

Gilbert & Sullivan – like Lennon & McCartney

By Adrian Chess, German by Martin Pütter Alsace-based expat Adrian Chess describes how joining Basel’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society helped him settle in his new environment – and explains that the Victorian operetta creators’ works can be adapted to different times. I arrived in Hégenheim, Alsace, in January 2013, after 35 years in Nantes doing a fair amount of acting and music. The little village I moved to is very quaint with its typical Alsatian houses, especially in the snow that was blanketing much of the area in Christmas-card ambiance at that time. However, like many newcomers who follow their

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Comments Off   |  21/12/2014 Culture, Uncategorized

Strasbourg-Monument – now and then

Strasbourg-Monument – now and then

By Shirley Kearney, Photo: Guido Wasser When the Strasbourg Monument went under a restoration-scaffolding in late June, it was covered with a half centimetre of dirt. However, the Carrara marble was not as severely damaged as feared. Therefore, the cost was reduced by one third to CHF 300,000. In order to minimise future damage, a fine, white chalk layer was applied. It was freed from its scaffolding on 22 October. A point of irony was cited in a description of the renovation as many German restorers worked on the project. The monument was given by the French to Basel in recognition

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Comments Off   |  14/11/2014 Culture

«My Irish West Coast»

«My Irish West Coast»

red. As part of the Book Night on 7 November, Esther Murbach will be reading her poems in English inspired by the Irish west coast and talking about the literary scene in Galway. The author and journalist Esther Murbach grew up and lives in Basel. In addition to her novels, she has also written poetry in German and French. She has developed a close relationship with Ireland over the last three years, and has therefore added poems in English to the collection. Since 2012, Esther Murbach has also been involved in the literary scene in Ireland. The “Galway Diary ”

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Comments Off   |  01/11/2014 Culture, Uncategorized

Guide to the Basel City Hall

Guide to the Basel City Hall

Published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Basel City Hall, a new book has just appeared in the “Swiss Heritage Guides” series. Basel’s City Hall is a magnificent building, an architectural monument from the late Gothic and Renaissance periods, after Basel joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501. The City Hall on Basel’s market square, with the magnificent council chamber, was completed in 1514. Until today, it remains the seat of the Grand Council and the cantonal government. When needed, changes were always made respectfully according to the new requirements of the times. The extensive renovations and additions around

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Comments Off   |  08/10/2014 Culture, Uncategorized

From Roma Eterna: 2,000 years of sculpture, to Charles Ray’s contemporary approach

From Roma Eterna: 2,000 years of sculpture, to Charles Ray’s contemporary approach

By Shirley L. Kearney The Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig (Basel Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection) presents, for the first time in Switzerland, masterworks from the imperial Roman period up to the mid-19th century. Sixty of the works come from the Santarelli family collection and 10 from that of art historian Federico Zeri. They are thematically arranged in refreshingly soft pastel-painted rooms; the descriptive texts are in German and in an engrossing and entertaining English. Attention is called to the subtle differences in the execution of the sculptures conflicting with desire and reality. From children’s faces to a

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Comments Off   |  17/09/2014 Culture, Uncategorized

Rolf Rappaz – an artist on eternal quest

Rolf Rappaz – an artist on eternal quest

The exhibition “Rolf Rappaz: A Life with Art and Graphics” celebrates both the work of an artist and the historic building that houses the Rappaz Museum. By Shirley L. Kearney The building that houses the collected works of Rolf Rappaz is one of the oldest in Kleinbasel. It dates back to the 11th century and is closely bound to the former Klingental Convent (1274), the site of today’s Kleines Klingental Museum. The Minnesinger and knight Walther von Klingen, donor and supporter of the convent, added Klingental 11 to its existing compound, where it functioned as the nuns’ weaving atelier. The

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Comments Off   |  19/08/2014 Culture

From the Strasbourg Monument to the Statue of Liberty

From the Strasbourg Monument to the Statue of Liberty

The connecting thread binding the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Strasbourg Monument near the Basel SBB train station begins in Colmar, France, and entwines one prolific French sculptor: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904). By Shirley L. Kearney    Everyone who goes to or from the central train station in Basel (SBB) might at some point look around to get orientated. At the edge of the Elisabethenanlage Park, facing the station, looms a sculpture of an angel and three figures. Colourful seasonal flowers, one of the city’s many floral installations, surround its base. Its steps provide an unusual spot for

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Comments Off   |  27/06/2014 Culture, Uncategorized

Artist Talks at the Fondation Beyeler

Artist Talks at the Fondation Beyeler

Fondation Beyeler, built by Renzo Piano Photo: Todd Eberle John Armleder in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist on Thursday, June, 19 at 5.30pm Celebrated artist John Armleder will speak with Hans Ulrich Obrist about his work. John Armleder (*1948 in Geneva) is one of the most important and influential artists on the international art scene. For more than four decades the artist has created a unique and diverse universe of works including installations, appropriated ready-made sculptures, geometrical pattern and abstract “pour”-paintings. Armleder’s art refers to and redefines how we look at different movements of modern and contemporary art as well

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Comments Off   |  18/06/2014 Culture

Joint venture for a good cause

Joint venture for a good cause

As a short journey back to their origins reveals, the American Women’s Club of Basel (AWC) and the “Gesellschaft für das Gute und Gemeinnützige” (GGG), a non-profit society for good works, have some common objectives. By Shirley L. Kearney, German by Martin Pütter The American Women’s Club (AWC) is a small but energetic group. Also energetic, but large, is the “Gesellschaft für das Gute und Gemeinnützige” (GGG – society for the good and the common benefit). As both contribute to the betterment of their members in particular and Basel’s citizens generally, both saw the benefit of entering into what in

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Comments Off   |  22/02/2014 Culture
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