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New auction tradition in town

ALMOST 50 of 155 contemporary works of art were sold at Art.Sk's second annual auction opening held at the gallery's new premises at the Apollo Business Centre. The May 22 auction generated a profit of Sk799,400 (€20,300).

"We are satisfied with the results," Ľudmila Soókyová from Art.Sk told The Slovak Spectator, "and we would be happy if sales gradually increased."

There were paintings, drawings, sculptures by established Slovak and Czech artists, as well as students, such as Erik Šille, whose works can be seen at an exhibition at the Apollo's Bonjour restaurant until the end of June.

Most of the works sold at the bid price. Woodblock Without Name by Ernest Zmeták (1919-2004) was the first to cause a stir, as its original bid of Sk5,000 (€127) climbed twice as high. Works by Daniel Brunovský and Václav Blaha were the most expensive pieces, selling for Sk80,000 (€2,000). The auction continues online for another month or so at the company's webpage.

Art.Sk originated in 2004 in order to support contemporary Slovak art. Through its foundation, Art.Sk aspires to establish a new art auction tradition in Bratislava, bringing together artists and lovers of art, Slovaks and foreigners alike.

Art.Sk plans to organise auctions twice a year; every two months, it intends to introduce new young artists through its exhibition space at the Bonjour restaurant. For more information, visit www.artsk.sk.

Slovak ballet turns 85

THE BALLET in Bratislava celebrated its 85th anniversary on May 19, the date the Slovak National Theatre introduced Léo Delibes's Coppélia, choreographed by the institution's first artistic director, Václav Kalina.

International ballet dancers from Paris, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Montreal, Boston and Bratislava took part in the theatre's gala-programme. Slovak Mário Radačovský, soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, performed Mozart's miniature piece Inspiration along with his colleague Anik Bissonette.

Two museums win year award

THE 2004 Museum of the Year Award went to the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica and Záhorské Museum in Skalica. The winners were announced during the recent Festival of Slovak Museums. The SNP Museum competed against other national museums, while Záhorské Museum won among regional and town museums.

Come to borrow Austrian books

AUSTRIANS living in Bratislava no longer need to cross the border for books and newspapers published in their country. Bratislava's University Library has just opened Austrian Library near the Austrian Institute, the TASR news agency reported.

So far, the library has received 6,750 German-language books and 45 kinds of newspapers and magazines. The books deal with finances, legislation, religion, politics, psychology, Austrian and European history, and other topics.

Significant Slovak promoter dies

THE FOUNDING member of Slovakia's World Congress, Professor Jozef August Mikuš, died at 96 in his birthplace, Krivá na Orave. A lawyer, diplomat, historian, political analyst, university professor and writer, Mikuš spent most of his time living in the US. He was member of the Slovak League of America.

Mikuš was born in 1909. In 1939 he was appointed a secretary of the Slovak Embassy to Rome. After he served as the chargé d'affaires in Madrid. Between 1945 and 1948, he was imprisoned three times; when the police arrived for the fourth time, he fled through Budapest and Vienna to Paris. There he worked as a journalist and wrote a publication on Slovak national issues, La Slovaquie dans le dramme de l'Europe, which was translated from French into English. In 1951 he moved to the USA.

Mikuš taught European history and international relations at Saint John's University in Queens, New York, and Georgian Court College in Lakewood, New Jersey. He published 16 books, eight documenting Slovak development. Mikuš was the laureate of the Slovakia's highest honour, the Pribina Cross of the 1st Class.

Prepared by Spectator staff from press reports

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