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Culture

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Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770, and died in Vienna on March 26, 1827. Hence December 2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Among the great musicians of 19th-century Germany, Beethoven is certainly the best known and most popular. It has been said of him that “he is… Read the full article

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The question of post-truth goes beyond the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs.”[1] The so-called “objective facts” imply the possibility of being recorded and quantified. Today we see that the possibility of quantifying in real time the truth as… Read the full article

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Our ambivalent relationship with death A revealing test of how much digital technology has changed our way of life is our relationship with time. It has been established that our awareness of time diminishes as we navigate; we find ourselves at the end of the day without being aware of its actual duration, just as… Read the full article

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Als Ich Can (How can I): these are the words engraved on the frame of the first self-portrait in history, a work by Jan van Eyck.[1] Three words and a challenge to generations of artists to measure themselves against this challenging artistic claim. In the case of the great Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69),… Read the full article

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In his address to the participants at the International Peace Conference at Al-Azhar (Cairo, Egypt) on April 28, 2017, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that dialogue on a global level may occur if three basic duties are observed: the duty to respect one’s own identity and that of others, the courage to accept differences, and… Read the full article

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In his New Year’s greetings to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis recalled the fifth centenary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), “the great artist from Urbino, who died in Rome on April 6, 1520”, and reflected: “he left us a vast legacy of inestimable beauty. Just as an artist’s… Read the full article

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With his latest novel La Loi du rêveur (The Law of the Dreamer), Daniel Pennac crosses paths  with Italian film director Federico Fellini (2020 is the centenary of his birth).[1] The common thread that links the two characters, both present in the novel, is the importance of the oneiric element in their respective lives. Fellini… Read the full article

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Reviewing a recently published volume that translates as Journey to the End of the West: Secular divergence and the rise of nationalism,[1] Sabino Cassese has written: Darkness falls. The West disappears. We have all suddenly become racist or nationalist. Fates diverge. The human person is pushed to the sidelines. A sense of irresponsibility spreads. Society… Read the full article

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