Culture Shorts

Become an archaeologist

Olexa (inset) examines a find.
photo: TASR

Archaeologists are inviting tourists to pick up tools and help them to excavate treasures from the Bronze Age in Nižná Myšľa, southeast of Košice.

"We have found an interesting archeological spot there that dates back to between 1700 and 1400 BC, when the Myceneans flourished," Ladislav Olexa, who heads the research, told the TASR news wire. He said this was the same period as Troy and ancient Crete's golden age.

The archeologists have been exploring this area of "Slovak Myceneans" for 30 years. Local as well as foreign tourists, mainly from Germany, have often helped them in their research.

One such archeo-tourist is Ulrich Fries from Munich, who has been coming to Nižná Myšla for 12 years. "I like to meet new people and lend a helping hand," he told Slovak Television.

Over those 30 years, archaeologists have learned a lot about the people of the so-called Ottoman culture. Up to now, they have uncovered 782 tombs in Nižná Myšľa. "They believed in reincarnation, so they buried their dead with gold, bronze, copper or amber jewels, tools, vessels and highly artistic weapons," TASR wrote.

According to Olexa, the foreign tourists mostly arrive from Košice's partner town of Wuppertal, Germany. They contact him through Collegium Myssle, a club of friends of the archaeological research at Nižná Myšľa.

The findings from the site go to the local museum, where the inscriptions are also written in braille. The Nižná Myšľa municipality is currently working on turning the site into an open-air archeological museum with the help of EU funds. National Geographic magazine also recently ran a story on it.

The archeo-tourism will run until the end of September. Tourists can also visit the nearby Ždaň municipality, which is the home of an old-Slavic settlement from the 6th century BC.

Marián Varga releases double CD

THE NEW double-album Hommage á Marián Varga offers a cross section of the legendary Slovak musician's songs, TASR news wire reported. Varga has said he is satisfied with the work done on the album, though he doesn't like the selections.

The first album entitled Marián Varga & Collegium Musicum features instrumental recordings. The second, Marián Varga & Pavol Hammel & ..., contains 24 well-known songs, such as Čierna ruža (Black Rose) and Labutie piesne (Swan Songs).

The recordings were remastered versions of the original studio strips. Varga personally supervised the planning and mastering of the album as well as the cover's design. The CD's thick booklet also features excerpts from Peter Uličný's book on the musician - Marián Varga: Cesty, ktoré nevedú do Ríma (Roads That Don't Lead to Rome).

Dreaming Danubian dreams

From foreground to right, The Hat and Coat kiosk, EUR Shed and Klorofil.
photo: Jana Liptáková

THINKING of the hut as the fundamental form of habitat, architect French Odile Decq and gallery curator Nadine Gandy have brought the idea into the 21st century. Several European architects and designers joined them in the Danubian Dreams project that is spreading its results on the bank's of the Danube until October 1.

Each project member erected a "shed" where they can be alone and dream. The designs are atypical in form and material.

French Odile Decq, for example, designed an open tepee that corresponds with the surrounding world. British designer Peter Cook installed kiosks of different colours called Hat and Coat that are designed to sell ice cream and fruit.

Klorofil by French artist Matali Crasset is green, as its name indicates. The Polish Medusa Group came up with the EUR Shed, which is assembled from palettes, and varies in size according to the number of palettes used. Norwegian-Austrian Helen & Hard designed a multipurpose shed from a rug that can be folded for use inside the shed and unfolded on the ground or water. Slovak Vallo & Sadovsky designed Casa di Torcello, a small house resembling a shell for a cat or a dog.

After being exhibited in Bratislava, the sheds will be shown throughout Europe.

Bibiana plays for children

AS CHILDREN and theatres go on holiday every summer, the Bibiana International House of Art for Children combines the two in We Are Playing for You, a series of puppet theatre performances with simple or no texts that runs each Sunday afternoon until August 27.

On July 23, the Belgium Taptoe Theatre performs Fly, a story about a little boy who wants to learn how to fly. The theme of flying also corresponds with the exhibition currently running at the house.

A week later, the Czech theatre of Víťa Marčík will present a version of Cinderella with a unique viewpoint. The German marionette theatre Fundus will occupy the weekend of August 5 and 6 with Golem and Circus Gockelini. Another Czech theatre arrives on August 13 with a show called Old Beldame Named Kettleholder. The Hungarian play Stop will take the stage a week later.

The festival closes with two of the Bibiana's own productions - In the Middle of Nowhere and The Story on How Kalo Dant Got to the Seventh World - on August 27. For more information, visit the Bibiana House at Panská 41 or go to

Prepared by Spectator staff

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