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Slovakia to help restore old photos


A PARTNERSHIP between the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) in Bratislava, and the Slovak National Library (SNK) in Martin will help restore and preserve old photographs in Slovakia.

Timothy P. Whalen, director of the Getty Conservation Institute, VŠVU rector Karol Wiesslechner and SNK director Dušan Katuščák signed a cooperation contract in Bratislava in early November, the SITA newswire wrote. US Ambassador to Slovakia Rodolphe Vallee and Culture Minister Marek Madarič attended the ceremony.

"The restoration and conservation of photos is a technologically demanding process," said the director of the Getty Conservation Institute.

"Right now it is rare in Europe, which creates an acute need to preserve the priceless collections of old photos that have been amassed in the individual countries of Europe since the beginning of photography in the first half of the 19th century," Whalen continued. "That is why we have decided to support the launch of the educational programme for photography restoration, which will accelerate the process of preserving the photography heritage of European countries. We have found excellent partners for this project in Bratislava."

The cooperation agreement will create an educational centre and a specialised programme focusing on conservation and restoration of photography at VŠVU. Thus the academy and the library will become an important European centre for research and educating experts in this field from Slovakia, as well as other European countries.

VŠVU will start training its teachers, who will then instruct students in the new programme of photography conservation and restoration. The programme will be the first not only in Slovakia, but in all of Central and Eastern Europe. VŠVU vice-chancellor Anna Daučíková expects that the academy might be able to offer the course in just two years.

There will be plenty of work for future experts as, for example, the Slovak National Library alone holds more than 700,000 daguerreotype images and old photos documenting the history and life of people in Slovakia. Outlets, museums, galleries, and other institutions also have historical photos in their collections.



Mrvová wins painting competition


YOUNG Slovak painter Juliana Mrvová won first prize in the second year of the painting competition for young artists announced by the VÚB Foundation. Its representatives revealed the winners of the Painting 2007 contest in the Klarisky church on November 15, the Pravda daily wrote.

The painting Catleyas by Juliana Mrvová took first prize, earning her Sk300,000. Andrea Bartošová finished second, accepting a Sk200,000 cheque for her work named Condition Monitoring. Monika Mikyšková was third, with her work From Afar fetching her Sk100,000.

The lives of young Slovak painters, who invest large sums of money in their careers, are not easy. "Right now, we cannot make a living from painting, because this is impossible," Mrvová told TV Markíza. "Mostly we teach, or do some commercial projects."

The international jury chaired by Mária Hlavajová evaluated the paintings of 77 artists.

The 20 best paintings will be exhibited in Klarisky until December 20. Mrvová's works are also on display in the Bonjour restaurant in the Apollo Business Centre at Mlynské Nivy 45 until the end of the year.



Italian film festival in Bratislava


THE ITALIAN Culture Institute continues in its mission to bring the best Italian films to Slovak cinema-goers. Following the Days of Latin Film, it has organised the MittelCinemaFest, the Central European Festival of Italian film, in the Mladosť cinema on Hviezdoslavovo Square lasting until December 12. The festival takes place simultaneously in Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw. Next year Slovaks in other towns across the country will have the chance to see some of the presented films.

The festival presents nine films representing contemporary Italian cinematography. They were shot in 2005-2007 and have garnered praise from the general public as well as critics.

The collection includes Manuale d'amore 2 by Giovanni Veronesi, to be screened on November 26. This movie, one of the most commercially successful films in Italy, stars Italians Monica Bellucci and Riccardo Scamarcio as well as a Slovak actress popular in Italy, Barbora Bobulová.

Another exceptional entry is Saturno contro by director Ferzan Ozpetek. The film will be presented as a Slovak early premiere, and will be released in Slovak cinemas in spring 2008.

Apart from this, audiences will have a chance to see L'Aria Salata (Salty Air) by Alessandro Angelini, Liscio by Claudio Antonini and Rosso come il cielo (Red like the Sky) by Cristiano Bortone, which will be screened in Slovakia only as part of this festival.


By Jana Liptáková

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