The Europe of the 19th century didn’t have the same need to search for ways of grieving. Death wasn’t hidden or taboo in the way it sometimes is now. Nowhere was this perhaps more true than in Vienna, home to one of Europe's largest cemeteries. Viennese funerals are often grand affairs, with high fashion and live music. In fact the tradition is so rich that the Austrian capital has created a funeral museum.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a dancer called Mata Hari was the star of clubs and soirees in Paris. Her seductive performances and exotic background captivated audiences. But Mata Hari was not what she seemed. Her real name was Margareta Zelle and she was born in the Netherlands not the Far East. During World War One she took on another role: that of spy for the German secret service. But her luck ran out. On October 15th, 1917, Mata Hari was executed after being exposed by French counter intelligence. The name Mata Hari means ”eye of the day" or "sun”. But in which language? And who are the winners of September Quiz?
Immigration has been on top of the news in France over the past couple of weeks. A new immigration law is being debated in parliament that could introduce quotas, as well as DNA testing, for family members of immigrants coming to France. Amidst these debates and polemics, the "Cite de l'Immigration", France's first museum devoted to the history of immigration opened this week. An opening - but with no big fuss. President Sarkozy wasn't there - he was in Russia - and the Immigration minister wasn't there either.
Europe is in the grip of summer holidays, and many visitors to Amsterdam this summer are disappointed to find that two of the Dutch capital's world famous museums are closed for renovation with only a tiny portion of their collections on show. But there are a wealth of other, smaller museums in the city to visit. Louise Dunne from Radio Netherlands Worldwide ventured into Amsterdam's Hash Museum.
No another reminder of the holocaust - this time in Warsaw where the cornerstone for the Museum of History of Polish Jews was laid in the polish capital. The people behind the project are emphasising that their ambition is not to build “just a Holocaust museum' but a centre of dialogue, culture and the long and rich history of Polish - Jewish coexistence. Joanna Najfeld from Polish Radio External Services reports
The French capital always draws hordes of tourists from all over the world, particularly around Christmas. And there are several reasons for that. First, buying Christmas presents in the capital of Haute Couture is the ultimate chic. Paris is also referred to as "the city of lights", and the Christmas decorations only enhance the capital's reputation - especially the Eiffel tower with its special Christmas coat. Nearby the new Quai Branly Museum for indigenous art is organising special events during the festive season. As RFI reports the museum has drawn upon its outstanding indigenous artwork collections to present "African Christmas".
The jewish community in Sweden dates back to several hundreds years ago and the Jewish migration has had several huge waves. Gaby Katz from Radio Sweden has visited the Jewish Museum in Stockholm and they special exhibitions portraying Jews. She investigated the place of the Jewish minority in Sweden.
French President Jacques Chirac inaugurated the Quai Branly indigenous art museum in the capital on Tuesday. Like his predecessor François Mitterrand, who gave Paris the Louvre pyramid, the 235 million Euro museum is Chirac's legacy to the city, in the final year of his presidency. Beyond the post-colonial angst over the concept of a museum devoted to what used to be called primitive art, and is now called indigenous art, what is the Quai Branly like, as a space to visit ? Are the exhibits the stars of the show, or is it the work of Jean Nouvel, the museum's architect, that is stealing the prize?
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