Posted by: Valentino Radman | September 14, 2012

Croatian Festival in France

The “Croatie, la voici Croatian Festival in France began in Paris on Wednesday with a reception at the French Culture and Communications Ministry. Sixty events relating to Croatian culture, education, science, tourism, economy, sport and gastronomy will be held in France from September to December as part of the festival , the Croatian Ministry of Culture announced earlier this week. Croatia is the first country of Southeast Europe to present itself as part of the Cultural Season event in France. The reception for representatives of the media, the diplomatic corps, institutions and sponsors was preceded by a meeting between Croatian Culture Minister Andrea Zlatar Violić and her French counterpart Aurelie Filippetti.

Andrea Zlatar Violić said that Croatia would present both its cultural heritage and programmes of its contemporary artists who she said were the best ambassadors of Croatia in the world today. She added that both Croatian and French Culture Ministries discussed concrete cooperation, including contracts on film co-productions and Croatia’s presentation in Marseille, next year’s European capital of culture, and many other topics.

The talks were under way with Germany and Great Britain to present some of the festival programmes in those countries. The festival features, among other things, an exhibition of sculptures by Ivan Meštrović in the Rodin Museum and an exhibition of about 40 medieval works of art in the Cluny Museum. The Croatian Apoxyomenos has been put on show in the Louvre and an exhibition on the Croatian Glagolitic script is staged in the Palais de Tau.

Ivan Meštrović is one of the greatest Croatian sculptors in history. He was a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1901 to 1906, then studied under Rodin during his years in Paris. Meštrović was to develop a powerful style, at the crossroads of various influences. His work synthesizes tradition, the new movements which were appearing at this time, and a profound sense of human experience.
His friendship with Auguste Rodin was essential in his social and professional life, and his regular visits to the galleries of the Louvre were to expand his artistic horizons. Several of his works were exhibited in Paris during his lifetime and a major posthumous retrospective was held at the Rodin Museum in 1969.

Besides the works put on display in Rodin museum, twelve Meštrović’s bronze works are  presented in the courtyard of the Hotel Biron and the gardens.

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