Tag Archives: culture

Vatican Museums reopen from June 1

The Vatican Museums reopening coincides with Italy’s gradual easing of the nearly 3-month lockdown, which allows many businesses and activities to restart.

The reopening of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo and a new open-bus tour have also been announced.

Health and art:

Due to the current health emergency situation, the Vatican Museums are ensuring a very careful balance between safety and health needs and the dynamics of a museum visit, without compromising the essence of such a visit.
Hence, in keeping with the norms of hygiene and physical distance, visitors to the Museums will be subject to a body temperature check and will be allowed in only with a facemask.
A medical and health team from Italy’s Misericordie volunteer group and the Vatican’s Health and Hygiene Department will ensure every need during the opening hours.
Other important requirements for the reopening of the museums will be revised from time to time as the current emergency situation evolves.

Online booking:

In order to restrict the number of entries, the Vatican Museums have limited ticket sales to only online booking from the official website http://www.museivaticani.va.

For this emergency period, the online booking fee of €4 will not apply.

There are also variations to the opening hours:
– Monday to Thursday: the Pontifical Collections will remain open from 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., with the last entry at 6.00 p.m. (exit from the museum sectors starts at 7.30 p.m.)
– Friday and Saturday: from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m., with the last entry at 8.00 p.m. (exit from the museum sectors at 9.30 p.m.).

Museums visits on Friday and Saturday are accompanied by the possibility to take part in an aperitif in the Pine Cone Courtyard to enjoy the sunset.
The usual free entry to the museums on the last Sunday of the month has been suspended.

Venice removes trinket shops

The Venice city council this week approved a resolution to stop trinket shops and cheap souvenir shops opening in St Mark’s Square and around the Rialto bridge,


The decision to be ratified by the regional government indicates that new commerce will have to respect rules regarding quality of goods prior to obtaining a licence to sell.
The aim is maintain the city’s cultural identity.

Matera and Plovdiv starring as EU capitals of culture

Plovdiv is the first ever Bulgarian city to be chosen as European Capital of Culture. With a full programme under the motto “Together”, 2019 will bring new opportunities to the region and international visibility for the city. More than 300 projects have been organised in Plovdiv, as well as the South Central Region of Bulgaria, and the cities of Varna, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo, including festivals and community-based projects, structured around themes linked to the characteristic features of Plovdiv, its history, cultural heritage, as well as the challenges facing the city.

From discovering the Cyrillic alphabet through various exhibitions, to joint theatre productions with the Western Balkans and the Roma and Turkish communities, visitors will have an array of activities to participate in. The opening celebrations will take place from 11 – 13 January, with a series of indoor and outdoor events, including a music, light and dance performance on the evening of 12 January.  Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel will attend the official opening ceremony on 12 January.


“The programmes for Plovdiv and Matera show how these cities envisage both their own future and that of Europe, whilst celebrating their extraordinary centuries-old heritage, – European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said. “The European Capital of Culture initiative brings people together and highlights the role of culture in building a European identity. Both cities will help ensure a long-term impact of last year’s successful European Year of Cultural Heritage, which has demonstrated how culture can transform our cities and regions for the better. I wish Plovdiv and Matera every success in the coming year.”

The programme for Matera has been organised under the motto “Open Future”, and will have a special focus on social and cultural inclusion and collaborative innovation. Highlights include “Ars Excavandi”, a contemporary look at the history and culture of subterranean architecture; “Re-reading Renaissance”, a journey through the artistic past of Basilicata and Apulia; and “Poetry of primes”, an exhibition on the central role of mathematics in the work of artists throughout the ages. Matera will also stage the first open-air performance of the opera Cavalleria Rusticana in co-operation with Teatro San Carlo, as well as 27 projects developed with local creative communities and partners from Europe. The opening celebrations will take place on 19 and 20 January and will gather 2,000 musicians from all the villages of the Basilicata region and many other parts of Europe. Commissioner Navracsics will attend the official opening ceremony on 19 January.

Holding the title of European Capital of Culture is also an excellent opportunity for the cities to change their image, put themselves on the world map, attract more tourists and rethink their development through culture. The title has a long-term impact, not only on culture but also in social and economic terms, both for the city and the region.

‘Nutcracker’ magic in Brussels BOZAR

The performance of ballet-féerie Nutcracker in BOZAR is a presentation of a new interpretation of Tchaikovsky masterpiece by Mikhail Venshchikov, Saint-Petersburg choreographer and a star dancer, a magnificent gift of Russian and Belgium artists to Brussels audiences during Christmas week.

A special charm of the performance of  Saint-Petersburg Arts-Michel Centre staged by Venshchikov is in return to its original version staged in glorious Mariinsky Theatre in 1892. Present at BOZAR he opened the evening, generously sharing his vision of the celebrated art piece, combining the concept of the first directors as Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, reviving the forgotten initial fragments. Next to elegant, and awaited by public Valse des Flocons de Neige, Grand Ballabile, and Divertissements des Jouets, the ballet included first time in a century  Adagio à l’Echarpe, underlining the unearthly lightness of the dancers, as if breaking the laws of gravity to recreate a mystery of the narrative of Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King“.

However they were the youngest participants of the performance who stole the hearts of the audience – the energetic little grey mouse, and angels with wings and candles, – they transformed the performance into a genuine fairy tale. The pupils of Le Conservatoire de la Danse de Bruxelles, led by legendary ballet star Menia Martinez, from a very young age are set to continue the greatest traditions of the classical ballet dance. Le Conservatoire has a long-standing co-operation with Russian colleagues, traced to Menia Martinez starring in Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

“This Nutcracker is special to us, because it assembles the old version of Marius Petipa, who also worked in Brussels, before leaving for Saint-Petersburg, and a vision of a young generation of classical ballet choreographers, like Mikhail Venshchikov, – said to Europe Diplomatic the director of Le Conservatoire, Béjart danser Jean-Paul Dimmers. – When Venshchikov stages his ballets in Belgium, he invites our children, for them it is a unique experience to perform next to great Mariinsky stars.”

However in spite of its brilliance and sophistication, the performances are held in a BOZAR Studio hall for 200 seats only, sold out a long time before the date, while the major Brussels stage of La Monnaie theatre is devoted to guest opera performances.
“After the departure of Maurice Béjart to Lausanne, we feel a certain vacuum that has not been filled so far. Although Brussels is de facto European Union capital, at the moment is does not have its own theatre as London, Paris, or Berlin with a permanent opera and ballet сompanies. We also encourage our students to head for the best stages in the world, but it is somehow sad, because there is a greatest potential in Brussels both in terms of talents and public”.

After Brussels the new version of Mikhail Venshchikov Nutcracker will head to Berlin.

«Nutcracker» at BOZAR Brussels Centre for fine art is staged with participation of “Le Conservatoire de la danse de Bruxelles” led by Menia Martinez et Jean-Paul
Dimmer. 28.12.2017