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Cultural news

Saturday 19th December 2020

London tightens export rules for culture

The British government wants to ensure that important cultural goods remain in the country with stricter export regulations. In the future, a provider will have to accept an offer from a museum, gallery or private person in Great Britain if this is as high as the one competing from abroad. This was announced by the Ministry of Culture in London. It is the first change in the export system for cultural goods in 65 years. The new rules are intended to help ensure that works are saved and used to educate and inspire future generations, said Secretary of State Caroline Dinenage. In the past five years, eight works for British collections have been lost due to the old regulation.

New York film critics choose best film

The New York Film Critics Association has named the western fairy tale "First Cow" by US director Kelly Reichardt the best film of the year. The story of a friendship between two enterprising men in Oregon in the mid-19th century won a grand prize at a virtual meeting of the New York Film Critics Circle. "First Cow" ran in March a few days before the pandemic-related movie theaters. Sidney Flanigan was honored as best leading actress for her role in "Never Rarely, Sometimes Always". Director Eliza Hittman received the award for best screenplay. Chloe Zhao was honored as the best director for "Nomadland". Best leading actor was Delroy Lindo for his portrayal in the film "Da Five Bloods".

French model agent in custody

The French model agent Jean-Luc Brunel has been taken into custody in Paris. In the course of the Epstein affair, the Paris public prosecutor's office has started an investigation into the rape of minors and sexual assault. Brunel is also suspected of having contacted and organized young girls for the American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, who killed himself in a New York prison in August 2019, was charged with abusing dozens of underage girls in the United States. He was accused of building a sex trafficking ring with accomplices.

State publishing award for "kunstanstifter"

The publishing house "kunstanstifter" in Mannheim received the publishing price for literature of the state of Baden-Württemberg 2020. The publications of the publishing house would combine remarkable and original stories with artistic illustrations, according to a statement from the Ministry of Science, Research and Art. The literary picture books thus occupied an important niche in the book trade. The publications appeal not only to children but also to adult readers thanks to their exceptionally well-designed aesthetic presentation. The Literature Publishing Prize is endowed with 12,500 euros. The "kunstanstifter" publishing house has already received several awards, including the German Youth Literature Prize and, in 2019, the German Publishing Prize.

New York Times Withdraws Podcast After Dizziness

A central protagonist of a podcast series in the "New York Times" dealing with IS atrocities has turned out to be a fraud and embarrassed the renowned US newspaper. The twelve-part podcast series "Caliphate" was largely based on descriptions by Shehroze Chaudhry alias Abu Husajfah, who reported in the production of alleged atrocities that he claimed to have committed in Syria for the Islamic State terrorist militia. In September, however, the Canadian police arrested him on charges of fabricating the terrorist story. The "New York Times" then set an internal investigation team on the matter. After careful examination, Chaudhry's story soon fell apart. The experts came to the conclusion that it was not certain that he had even been in Syria. The affair has far-reaching consequences, especially since "Caliphate" received a Peabody Award, a US prize awarded for outstanding stories in film, radio and online media. In addition, "Caliphate" landed in the final round for a Pulitzer Prize, which is roughly on par with the Oscars in terms of its reputation in the USA.

The opening of the Academy Museum has been postponed again

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles is not scheduled to open in April, but rather at the end of September 2021. This was announced by the museum management. The renewed postponement was justified with increasing corona numbers and the ongoing closure of cultural institutions. The inauguration of the Museum of the Film Academy, which awards the Oscars every year, had been delayed several times. In 2012, the plans for the building by the Italian star architect Renzo Piano were announced. The museum, which was initially estimated to cost $ 200 million to build, was due to open in 2016. In the meantime, the construction costs have almost doubled. Stars like Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and George Lucas, but also film studios, foundations and companies donated millions.

Leipzig gets a new Thomaskantor

The church musician Andreas Reize becomes the new director of the St. Thomas Choir in Leipzig. The 45-year-old, who was born in Switzerland, was unanimously elected in a special meeting of the city council. He received 49 of 49 votes cast. Reize is to follow St. Thomas Cantor Gotthold Schwarz in September 2021, who is leaving office at the end of June 2021. The St. Thomas Boys Choir, founded in 1212, is one of the most famous boys' choirs in the world. Johann Sebastian Bach directed the choir for 27 years.

Center for culture of remembrance founded in Regensburg

The University of Regensburg has founded a new kind of center for a culture of remembrance. It is based on the intensification of the long-term successful cooperation between the university and the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp Memorial and is scheduled to start work at the beginning of 2021, as the university announced. In January of this year, the Bavarian Council of Ministers included the center in its overall concept for remembrance work for the victims of National Socialism and for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism. According to the communication, the aim is to further research fields of work from an interdisciplinary perspective and to consolidate the non-partisan nature of remembrance work.

Holocaust survivors honored

The Holocaust survivors Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and Henriette Kretz received the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class. They get involved as contemporary witnesses and thus convey the horrors of National Socialism. Lasker-Wallfisch was a cellist in the so-called girls' orchestra of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. In 2018 she gave the commemorative speech at the traditional memorial hour of the Bundestag for the victims of National Socialism. Kretz, who now lives in Antwerp, survived the Holocaust in an orphanage after her parents were murdered. For their commitment, they were honored in writing by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier due to the corona.

Financial aid for the changed Berlinale

The Berlin International Film Festival is facing massive changes due to the corona pandemic. Because the film market is very dependent on the time of year a festival takes place, the next year's edition will consist of two events, explained Berlinale managing director Mariette Rissenbeek on Deutschlandfunk Kultur. There will be a digital industry get-together in March, and a festival with an audience is planned for June. State Minister for Culture Monika Grütters has encouraged the Berlinale to stick to the film festival in a different form next year. You have promised the Berlinale additional financial support from the Corona aid program for culture, said Grütters.

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