Our ever-faithful friend Steve Whitton sends this great report on last Friday’s bash.
An Evening in Limburg, Germany
Every year before Christmas, Lahn Artists (www.lahnartists.de) has an Annual Exhibition in the Historical Town Hall, one of the most interesting buildings within the Limburger Altstadt. Built in the 14th Century, it was the Town Hall for over 500 years, but is now the Registry Office and also a venue for the major art exhibitions within the region.
This year, our theme is “The Space Between”. It has been very successful, with over 1300 visitors over 3 weekends, and on December 16th, we hosted a celebration of the birth of Michele Lombardi in 1911. It was an easy comparison to make - the space between D’Artagnan’s life and death, (and then between his death and acceptance as a major artist), is not only interesting but creative, well-documented and in it’s own way tragic - it has also become some sort of legend.
Here in Limburg, we produced a brochure in 2008 about D’Artagnan called “Once upon a time - and the Story Continues!” Yes, a boy from wealthy parents is sent away penniless for adoption - the man searches for his lost childhood and suffers from this struggle - and then his art supports a charity to help children who also have very restricted chances in life. A true fairy story!
And so last Friday, a good crowd of interesting and influential Limburgers listened to a presentation based on the “Green Book”, saw some of the film by RAI, and then spent the rest of the evening discussing the issues raised. Our Chairperson, Renate Kuby, explained some of the fascinating aspects of D’Artagnan’s art, and each of the 8 pictures that we presently hold were celebrated. As a small group in Germany, we congratulate all our friends in the U.S., Amsterdam, Roma and of course especially Bahia, for their efforts to keep this story alive, and to have donated time, energy and resources to help the project keep going.
After our evening, when the 700 year old doors had been closed and the modern alarm systems switched on, a small group retreated to the nearby Irish Pub. Here, the landlord recollected stories of the potato famines that brought starvation to Ireland, Renate and I chatted about Salvador (its problems and its wonders…) and a friend who was a banker from Frankfurt listened and felt moved enough to promise some future support - well, it’s a start! There is a growing awareness amongst thoughtful, caring folk that there is a need for change and also perhaps that governments are not always the best organisations to achieve such change…