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Jozef Cíger Hronský in Rome

THE SLOVAK National Library in Martin has prepared an international exhibition to introduce the works of Slovak writer and artist Jozef Cíger Hronský (1896 - 1960) abroad. The exhibition opened at the Slovak Embassy in Rome on May 23.

"Through interesting visual forms, the exhibition tells of the significant periods of the life and career of this prominent man of letters and guardian of culture, who was also the administrator of the Slovak culture and heritage organization Matica Slovenská," exhibition organiser Peter Cabadaj told the SITA news wire.

Cabadaj has paid special attention to Hronský's exile in Italy and Argentina. During these times he not only wrote, but also painted. At the exhibition, watercolours, paintings and drawings document this period of his life. "It is necessary to say that this aspect of Jozef Cíger Hronský's visual arts are still unknown in Slovakia," said Cabadaj.

After Rome, the exhibition will tour other Italian cities related to Hronský's post-war life and work.

A Killer Bargain wins festival

THE DANISH FILM A Killer Bargain by Tom Heinemann won the main prize at the 13th International Environmental Film Festival Envirofilm, which finished in Zvolen on May 18.

The film won the jury over with its use of investigative journalism and its urgent message about the use of toxic material. It focuses on the connection between Europe's prosperity and the cheap textile bought by Europeans.

The cloth dealt with in the film is manufactured and dyed for a Danish company in India under poor health and safety conditions. Consumers remain largely unaware of the conditions under which the goods they buy are produced; this film makes the conditions shockingly clear.

The festival enjoys a high level of interest from both filmmakers and visitors. This year a record number of filmmakers attended the festival, which was held in a selection of central Slovak towns from May 15 to 19. A record 157 films were shown at the festival.

Envirofilm festival manager Dagmar Rajčanová said after the festival that about 7,000 people attended the screenings in Banská Bystrica. About 3,000 people attended accompanying events, which included the screenings of films that were not competing for prizes. In Zvolen, about 3,000 visitors attended screenings of competing films. Banská Štiavnica and Kremnica reported about 2,500 visitors, who saw competing films and about 2,000 people in each of these towns attending the accompanying events.

"The interest in Kremnica in particular was a positive surprise as this town was hosting the festival for the first time," said Rajčanová. In some cases, such as with the films by Slovak traveller and director Pavol Barabáš and Czech diver and underwater filmmaker Steve Lichtag, the screenings were sold out.

Other towns will have screenings of selected films, which will be organised by the Slovak Environmental Agency in the autumn at its environmental education centres.

Orient Express to stop in Banská Bystrica

Orient Express will make a stop in Banská Bystrica on July 11.
photo: ČTK

THE LEGENDARY Orient Express will stop in Banská Bystrica on its way from Vienna to Prague on July 11. Luxury on wheels, as the train has been dubbed, is scheduled to arrive at platform 9 at 16:00.

"I don't know the details," Banská Bystrica Mayor Ivan Saktor told the TASR news wire. "I was told in France that this year the Orient Express will pass through Slovakia and the only town where it will stop and where passengers will be able to get out will be Banská Bystrica. They will tour the town, which for us is a great compliment. I'm very glad that it will stop in Banská Bystrica."

Saktor said a ticket for the Orient Express costs around Sk400,000 (€11,800).

This will be the first time the Orient Express has stopped off in Slovakia.

Day of Slovaks in The Hague successfull

THE DAY OF SLOVAKS in the Dutch city of The Hague was a success, one of its organisers and supporters, Pavel Repka from the village of Podhradík close to Prešov, told the TASR news wire.

The Slovak ambassador to the Netherlands, Oksana Tomová, was the main organiser of the event, which featured the folk dance and music ensemble Šarišan from Prešov.

The event had two parts; the first for diplomats and national representatives and the second for the wider public. Both took place at the Slovak Embassy in The Hague.

The first part of the event was attended by about 150 people including Slovak diplomats, doctors, teachers and military officers. The second part of the event was attended by about 200 people, mostly of eastern Slovak origin.

By Jana Liptáková

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