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Guardian of Breker
The Director of the Museum of Arno Breker is a Sri
RESIDENCE OF INTERNATIONAL INTEREST: Castle Noervenich, the museum
of Arno Breker
SCULPTURE: International attention is being focussed on the late
European sculptor Arno Breker (1900-1991) who was the favourite sculptor
of Adolf Hitler and is now known as the Michelangelo of Germany.
Controversy surrounded the exhibition in a Governmental sponsored
official museum in the city of Schwerin in East Germany.
Sixty years after the end of Hitlerâs Third Reich, some politicians
say, one should not exhibit art of the Nazi Era, but in the first three
weeks of the exhibition in Schewerin, in the northern district of the
German capital, Berlin, more than 5,000 visitors came to admire the
fantastic artwork of Arno Breker at the exhibition.
Germanyâs younger generation find this kind of classical art very
interesting and fascinating and their admiration and appreciation is not
coloured by the controversies of a bygone era.
During the public controversy it came to light that the original
museum of Arno Breker is at Castle Noervenich near the city of Cologne -
Rhine valley - and is managed by John Gilbert Bodenstein, a Sri Lankan.
He was appointed Director, by Breker himself. His brother Marco
Bodenstein, also born in Kandy is the curator for art exhibitions. He
prepared the exhibition in northern Germany which ran up to October
How did it happen that a Sri Lankan is in charge of such an important
Museum? âSoon after I came for studies to Germany, together with my
father, I met with the Master Sculptor, Arno Breker. It was then when my
family decided to convert our own castle of the 16th century to a Museum
for the works of Arno Breker.
It was then that the Master himself asked me to care for the
institution, it became my destiny to keep the memory of this gifted
artist, for his admirers and art collectors. Arno Breker is the worldâs
most important sculptor of the classical tradition of the 20th century,â
said John G. Bodenstein.
What does classical tradition mean? Brekerâs artwork, centres on the
human being as a unique creation of God. The sculptor models man and
woman in their beauty. He was devoted to realistic art, as are
manifested in the frescos of Sigiriya and the magnificent sculptures of
the Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka.
He was given the name of Germanyâs Michelangelo by none other than
the art historian and famous artist, Astride Maillol, who compared the
style of Breker with that of the works of Michelangelo in Italy.
Millions of tourists admire every year in Rome and other historical
cities of Italy, Michelangeloâs sculptures and paintings in the Vatican,
churches and other buildings, said Bodenstein.
Breker is criticised over decades for his works, made in Hitlerâs
era. The sculptures and relief were meant for the monumental
architecture of Albert Speer. Hitlerâs favourite architect and friend of
Breker was supposed to build a new centre in the German Capital, Berlin.
The dictator wanted the capital in his empire to be much better than
that in Rome, Paris or Washington. He made monumental figures to
decorate the official buildings and places in this envisioned centre of
The critics say Breker served by his art the Nazi ideology inspired
by the philosophy that the Aryan race was exclusive and predominant.
Bodenstein says: âWe respect this opinion, but cannot agree at all with
A sculptor of such calibre who is able to make such great art wishes
to give worship, glory and praise to God, saying thank you by singing
his own magnificent. The Lord has done great things in my life, Holy is
This purity of spirit in art one finds in all great religions:
Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism etc and foremost in Greek philosophy.
We know about Alexander the Great, who reached parts of India and
conquered an empire in his epoch.
The rise and fall of the appreciation of the works of art is to be
found in all civilised countries, also in Asia, yet I feel it is the
duty of all human beings to preserve what we have inherited. This is the
goal of the director of the museum and his wife Patricia, also from
He said: âWe have one human heritage, since we are born of one Father
who creates the true, the good and the beautiful. Hence, great art
resonates with the human heart irrespective of oneâs language, culture
and tradition and transcends any preconceived opinion or bias.â
Traditional dance at its best...
Ranga Tharanga to celebrate 75th anniversary of
Mahamaya Girlsâ College, Kandy:
Captivating: A night of drumming and dance
DANCE: In a location high up in the hill capital, nestled on a
chalet, Mahamaya Girlsâ College was born in 1932. Since then the school
had shown immense commitment and talent towards education as well as
Their latest project, Ranga tharanga, a spectacular evening of
traditional dance and drumming, opens another chapter in this effort.
A cavalcade of dance items presented by the Ravibandu Samanthi Dance
Ensemble along with two of the schoolâs award-winning dance troupes will
commence at the Bishopâs College Auditorium on March 23, 7.30 p.m.
This spectacular event, titled Ranga Tharanga is organised by the Old
Girls Association (OGA), Colombo branch, of Mahamaya Girlsâ College,
Kandy, to mark the schoolâs 75th anniversary.
Part proceeds of Ranga Tharanga will be donated to the Lt. General
Denzil Kobbekaduwa Trust and the rest will be used to improve the
Mahamaya Girlsâ College Dance Unit.
Vivah takes you on a journey from engagement to marriage
CINEMA: The Great Indian Wedding is back with lots of traditions and
family bondages. Sooraj Barjatyaâs Vivah is an ideal recipe for those
who are hoping to set out on the journey from engagement to marriage.
NASCENT CHARM: Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao as Prem and Poonam in
The belief, sincerity and conviction that he displays in Indian
traditions, and the nascent charm of lead-pair of Shahid Kapoor - Amrita
Rao, melts your heart and you end up humming Ravindra Jainâs melody
Mujhe Haq Hai with a smile.
Prem (Shahid Kapoor) respects his father, rich businessman
Harishchandra (Anupam Kher) while Poonam (Amrita Rao), the prized
possession of her chachaji, Krishnakanth (Alok Nath), comes from a
humble background. He is a city-bred boy from Delhi while she is a
homely girl from Madhupur near Mathura.
Their love germinates after their engagement at her simple North
Indian house. Poonam cares for him becoming his inspiration to become
someone on his own. Prem reciprocates her love in a touching moment in
the later part of the film and itâs worth a gulp in your throat and
Now screening with English subtitles at the Regal and Milano, Kegalle.
Murals on verge of destruction
PAINTINGS: These murals depicting the historic procession conveying
the Jathaka story book chronicled during the Kurunegala kingdom at the
Ethkanda Raja Maha Vihare are fast deteriorating due to lack of proper
attention. The colourful murals adorn the prison building wall near
Kurunegala clock tower junction were earlier protected by a canopy.
Over the years the canopy had decayed leaving behind only the iron
beams exposing the murals to the elements. The murals were drawn by A.
B. Seneviratne Bandara former director of art, Wayamba province and his
residents have expressed surprise over the lack of interest by
authorities to conserve these murals.
âMy Oasis of Silenceâ at Goethe-Institute
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Goethe Institution, in collaboration with the
Embassy of Switzerland and the Photographic Association of Sri Lanka, is
holding a photographic exhibition titled âMy Oasis of Silenceâ by the
participants of the workshop with Beat Presser, Swiss photographer. The
exhibition will remain open at the Goethe Hall, until March 28 Monday to
Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
MUSIC: The Sinhala perennial favourites music competition organised
by the Kelaniya Vijaya Kalayathanaya to select a team of vocalists for
its musical group, Peduru Saadaya Kandayama will be held at the
Kalayathanaya premises on April 2 at 9 a.m.
All those who have sent in applications are requested to be present.
Further information could be obtained from No. 60, Waragoda Road,
Kelaniya. Telephone 2915596.
JICA photo exhibition at the Public Library
PHOTOGRAPHY: An exhibition of photography organised by the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be displayed at the Public
Library, Colombo, from March 22 to 25.
These photos display the development activities carried out by JICA
in various parts of Sri Lanka captured in the camera in different
perspectives by the renowned photographer, Lal Hegoda.
This exhibition will give an understanding for Sri Lankan people on
the the ODA activities which JICA carried out in the past 25 years and
will disclose the Japanese context through photography.
Robin Zebaida to perform in Kandy
MUSIC: The celebrated British pianist, Robin Zebaida will give an
exclusive piano recital of important works from the classical to the
contemporary repertoire in Kandy. The programme includes works by
Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Grieg, FaurĂ©, Rachmaninov, Scriabin,
Gershwin and Godowsky.
The concert will be presented by the Kandy Music Society in
association with the University Arts Council at the E.O.E. Pereira
Theatre, Engineering Faculty, University of Peradeniya on March 23 at
âBurnt Castles and other paintingsâ in Badulla
PAINTING: Wasantha Kumaraâs 27th exhibition of paintings, âBurnt
Castles and other paintingsâ will be held from March 24 to 26 at the
Senerath Parana Vithana Library hall, Badulla.Some people lead a
luxurious lifestyle, enjoying delicious food and drink, travelling in
comfortable vehicles and living in enormous castles.
But in a moment we hear screaming and see a heap of debris and
scattered pieces of flesh here and there. Ultimately only burnt castles
remain. Dream castles collapse within a few seconds and unexpectedly
death will come and take us. This is the artistâs theme.
âFilm Festival 2007â to celebrate Womenâs day
CINEMA:The Women and Media Collectives has organised a film festival
to celebrate International Womenâs day. Deepa Mehthaâs Earth, Nigel
Coleâs Calendar Girls and Margarethe VonTrottaâs Rosentrasse will be
screened at the Russian Cultural Centre from March 26 to 28, 3.00 p.m.
to 6.00 p.m.