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Culture

THE PILLARS OF EUROPE

Caixafórum shows at its headquarters in Barcelona the exhibition “The Pillars of Europe”, which explains the foundations of the formation of European identity in medieval times from pieces of the British Museum, mostly never exhibited.


“This exhibition shows that the image of the Middle Ages goes beyond a dark age, and looks for points of contact beyond national institutions and identities”, Elisa Durán, Deputy Director-General of Fundación la Caixa, has emphasized.

The exhibition begins on the fourth century with the fall of the Roman Empire and covers chronologically until the fifteenth century and, according to Durán, “the scenography and museology is led to take the viewer to an immersion that dissipates preconceived ideas.”

Of the 263 pieces exhibited, 244 come from the British Museum – a large part never shown – although the exhibition is completed with 19 other paintings and sculptures from Marès Museum, the MNAC and the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, which provide the counterpoint of the kingdoms of the south.

According to Durán, “the Middle Ages foreshadows the way of life we have today not only in Europe but in much of the world.”

The design of the exhibition enhances the spectacularity of the pieces in the five areas in which the route is divided to explain the formation of Europe: the royal power, the ecclesiastical power, the life in the court and the urban life.

A last section is dedicated, from an audiovisual, to detail the legacy of the Middle Ages to the present day.

President of the British Museum, Richard Lambert, has emphasised that “The pillars of Europe” focuses “on a period when many countries were beginning to take shape,” over a thousand years of history in which political, economic and cultural changes took place , as well as great artistic talents and intellectual progress.

And he added with the usual British phlegm: “As a resident of this curious island of northern Europe I agree on the opportunity of this exhibition,” and in reference to Brexit, recalled Winston Churchill‘s words, who said that “we do not know the future, but the past should give us hope.”

Pieces of the exhibition

A king of the chess game from Lewis island (1150-1200), possibly from Norway, found in the 19th century in Scotland, made of walrus ivory, is one of the star pieces in the exhibition.

“It’s still a mystery, and when a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party recently asked us to return this game of chess to Scotland, we replied: to what part of Norway do you want us to return it?”

The Wingham brooch (575-625), coming from England, a very popular jewel in the VI-VII centuries in the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent; the circular pieces of glass (15th century) from Germany; or a statuette of a gentleman (XIV-XV centuries), possibly a representation of St. George and the personification of the medieval knight, are other attractions of the exhibition, which will be in Barcelona until 18 June.

All these pieces proved that “the Middle Ages were not a dark age, of fights and superstitions, of fear and ignorance, but also of great artistic talents, cultural development and important political changes,” said Michael Lewis and Naomi Speakman, Religious and economic”.

Pillars of Europe” begins a new collaboration of the la Caixa Foundation with the British Museum, whereby until 2020 they will co-organize three other exhibitions on Ancient Greece, pharaohs and luxury in antiquity.


March 13, 2017, EFE/Practica Español


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News related (October 19, 2016)

Comprensión del texto B.2 (Comprehension B.2)

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Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
La noticia trata de...
A
Una exhibición en la capital de España.
B
Una exhibición en una ciudad española.
C
Una exhibición en un importante museo de España.
Question 2
Según el texto, ¿de qué trata esa exposición?
A
De la creación de la Unión Europea.
B
Del momento en que las naciones comenzaron a forjar su identidad.
C
De las causas de la caída de los grandes imperios.
Question 3
Según el texto, ¿qué tópico se quiere desmentir?
A
Que no hubo ningún tipo de desarrollo cultural y económico en el Medioevo.
B
Que el Medioevo fue una época histórica supersticiosa carente de desarrollo cultural y económico.
C
Que la Edad Media fue la época de las luces.
Question 4
Todas las piezas de la exhibición proceden de museos del mismo país.
A
Falso.
B
Verdadero.
C
No se sabe.
Question 5
¿Cuánto tiempo dura la Edad Media?
A
Un par de siglos.
B
Un milenio.
C
Casi dos mil años.
Question 6
En el texto se dice que...
A
Todavía no se ha realizado ninguna exhibición sobre la idiosincrasia de los pueblos europeos.
B
Dentro de una década se organizará una exhibición sobre la Antigüedad.
C
Está previsto que haya otras exhibiciones sobre antiguas civilizaciones.
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