The 9th of January was the official handover of the European cultural capitals at the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The new cities for 2023 have already been named and awarded a unique glass sculpture made by Luxembourgish artist, Pascale Seil!
Each year, new capitals are selected to be the European Capital of Culture of the year. In 2022, Esch/Alzette (Luxembourg), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Novi Sad (Serbia) had been chosen to represent Europe’s cultural identity. 2023 will see the cities of Elefsina (Greece), Timișoara (Romania) and Veszprém-Balaton (Hungary) becoming the new European Capitals of Culture. This handover was held in Athens, which was actually the first capital to become European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 1985. The aim was to bring European citizens closer together by emphasising the rich diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their shared history and values.
To illustrate the handover between capitals, a work of art by the Luxembourgish glass artist Pascale Seil (“Made by Seil”) was created to symbolise the shared history among European countries. The evening ended with an artistic performance, a “tacet”, by the Greek-English dancer Rhiannon Morgan from Luxembourg as well and the Greek-French accordion player Servane Io Le Moller from Athens, who participated in the cultural programme of Esch2022 (“DifferDanceDays”).
A unique glass sculpture symbolising unity
Pascale Seil’s work of art entitled “The Bull” is inspired by Greek mythology, where Zeus transforms himself into a white bull to kidnap a girl called Europa, to whom the continent owes its name. The bull’s horns embody power whereas the round shape of the circle underneath conveys perfection and infinity. The sculpture is composed of 47 layers of coloured glass, each representing one of the European countries. The twisting motion of the colours stand for transparency, lightness as well as movement. Nevertheless, Europe’s colours (blue and yellow) stand out the most.
In our interview for the summer edition (2022) of KACHEN magazine, Pascale Seil explained that she first discovered glasswork at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg while specialising in ceramics. She then spent two years learning various techniques of the glassmaking profession. She enjoys the immediacy of the work as glass eventually dries and stays fixed. The process of glassmaking is also quite dynamic as at least two people are required: one who blows and the other who turns to shape the glass. Communication is thus crucial! Colours also play an important role as seen in “The Bull”, where she likes to mix transparency and colours.
All in all, we are eager to see the new projects from the Capitals of Cultures and delighted that Luxembourgish artists have been represented in the official handover for 2023.
Pictures: Eleusis 2023 Handover