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La Tribune de Genève - Switzerland | 18/03/2015

Art treasures belong at home despite risks

Terrorist militants of the Islamic State destroyed priceless cultural treasures that were thousands of years old - including statues and manuscripts - in the Iraqi city of Mosul at the end of February. Nevertheless such objects should remain at their original location, the regional daily La Tribune de Genève believes: "Here and there voices can be heard calling for artworks on display in our museums to be sent back to their countries of origin. Bearing in mind the fate of the statues that were left at their original locations one may well wonder whether agreeing to such requests is a wise idea. Nevertheless the best place for these witnesses to past events is with their local populations. Why remove a cultural heritage, the source of pride for an entire region and a powerful source of revenue for local economies? If people in such areas came to their senses and developed a safe and intelligent tourist industry, everyone would benefit." (18/03/2015)

Večernji List - Croatia | 06/03/2015

Croatia must again take part in ESC

Croatia's decision not to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) this year either is disastrous for the country as a prime tourist destination, the conservative daily Večernji List complains: "Croatia's tourist industry, like its government, politicians, people and musicians, apparently don't need any more advertising in neighbouring Austria. Croatia clearly doesn't see the country hosting this year's ESC as important enough for it to feel the need to present itself there, as if not a single person from that country ever spent their holidays here on our Adriatic coast. And why isn't Croatia taking part in the ESC? Well, because the Croatian public broadcaster HRT is parroting claims that this will cut costs since we're short on cash. As if we ever had any cash. ... But HRT has a cultural mandate and participating in the ESC is culturally important. You can criticise the quality of the music, but not the event's popularity or longevity." (06/03/2015)

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 03/03/2015

Welcome home, Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle, currently principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, is to join the London Symphony Orchestra as its music director in 2017. The left-liberal daily The Guardian is delighted at the famous British conductor's return home: "The LSO's success in persuading him back to Britain is the dream appointment in its field: a high-profile, high-quality appointment, of someone who is engaged, engaging and accessible - and who tends to get his way. Sir Simon will bring fine concerts, ambitious programming and innovative outreach to London's kaleidoscopic musical public and young people, as well as a shot in the arm to the arts across Britain. He will give the LSO new lustre. But the test of his power will be whether he can persuade the state and the City to build the new symphony hall that he believes the capital requires." (03/03/2015)

La Croix - France | 02/03/2015

IS wants to erase non-Muslim history

With the destruction of archeological treasures in Mosul last week by the terrorist IS militia an entire chapter of cultural history is in acute danger, the Catholic daily La Croix fears: "Should one really be so upset that statues are being destroyed when at the same time the kidnapping of Assyrian Christians by IS Islamists fails to provoke a similar outcry? The answer is: yes, one should, because it is a grave offence to destroy an entire cultural heritage. ... But the real goal is to eradicate every trace of non-Muslim civilisation and wipe away everything that existed before the founding of Islam in the 7th century. This totalitarian desire is also what motivates the IS's crimes against religious minorities, and above all Christians. ... In this way 2,000 years of the history of mankind could disappear from history. The violence against people and the destruction of stone artefacts have the same tragic inspiration." (02/03/2015)

Pohjalainen - Finland | 02/03/2015

Disabled punk musicians bring tolerance to ESC

The punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikas name day) whose four members have disabilities on Saturday won the competition to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Vienna in May. The band could help send a message for more tolerance in Europe, the liberal daily Pohjalainen hopes: " Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät shows that great things are possible also for people with disabilities. ... Punk originated as a protest against society. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät continues this tradition in an unprecedented way. They don't just sing about disabled rock musicians but are themselves the protagonists. ... Disability issues are often marginalised in public debate. Finland's representatives at the Eurovision Song Contest are already doing great work and promoting true tolerance in Europe." (02/03/2015)

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | 27/02/2015

IS marking its territory with destruction of art

A video published by the IS on Thursday shows how the terrorists have destroyed priceless artefacts in the city of Mosul in Iraq. A foul deed with which the extremists yet again aimed to demonstrate their power, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias comments appalled: "They wanted to show that they can do whatever they want - and no one can stop them. The images from Mosul don't require any adjectives, they are enough to provoke all manner of outrage. But worse than looking at the pictures is to stick through watching the YouTube video for five minutes in silence. This destruction of ancient works of art is another piece of propaganda in their terrorist campaign. With each gesture they want to show us that these works have been destroyed and lost forever and that the past no longer exists, that it simply has no value any more." (27/02/2015)


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