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French festival “Rendez-vous” in 22 cities around Croatia

rendez-vous-france2015From May to September this year, French art and the culture of living will be brought closer to the Croatian public through more than 150 events in various fields that will be held as part of the French festival “Rendez-vous in 22 cities around Croatia.

The rich multi-disciplinary programme will officially open on May 5 with an exhibition of works by Auguste Rodin and three performances of Debussy’s “Pelleas et Melisande” opera in the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb as of May 12. A programme ahead of the main events will be held on April 9 with a lecture by the world’s most influential economist, Thomas Piketty visiting Zagreb.

The festival uses the definition of culture in a broad sense which will also include the economy, education and science aimed at long-term relations between individuals and institutions in both countries with or without the state or institutional framework, Croatia’s festival coordinator Alemka Lisnski said. Her colleague in selecting events for the festival from France is Anne Coutard.

Deputy Culture Minister Berislav Sipus said that the project has resulted after long-term cultural exchanges between the two countries, and recalled the compliments Croatia received after it presented its culture to the French public in 2012.

French Ambassador to Croatia Michele Boccoz said that the festival has been designed in honour of the long-term ties between the two cultures, which is evidenced in the fact that the French Institute has existed in Zagreb for 93 years.

The rich programme will be an opportunity to discover just how close our cultures are and how they developed under similar influences, she said.

The festival will feature music, visual arts, theatre, circus, design, the economy, fashion, sport, gastronomy and tourism.

The festival will feature an open-air picnic in Zagreb’s Maksimir Park, while Zagreb’s main square will host a big ball for citizens, also to be held in French towns, on July 14.

Zagreb’s Tomislav Square will host French concerts.

The festival will conclude with a “White Night,” when citizens will have the opportunity to visit certain cultural spots around town all night.

Another interesting event will be the Tour de Croatie which will present an exhibition of photographs of the 2013 “Tour de France” in Zrinjevac Square in Zagreb, marking the 100th anniversary of this bicycle race.

The entire festival is being organised by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Zagreb’s French Institute and the French Embassy. (Hina)

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