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Germany’s Oktoberfest to return in 2022 after pandemic pause

Germany's iconic Oktoberfest beer festival will once again take place in Munich in 2022 after being cancelled two years running due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city's mayor said Friday.

Revellers clink glasses for a scaled-back Oktoberfest celebration in Munich in October 2021.
Revellers enjoy a scaled-back Oktoberfest celebration in Munich in October 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

The Oktoberfest would be held “without conditions or restrictions”, Munich mayor Dieter Reiter told a press conference.

The world-renowned knees-up drew around six million visitors annually before the pandemic. It was cancelled in 2020 for the first time since World War II after the outbreak of coronavirus.

The festival, usually held between September and October, was cancelled again in 2021 as Germany battled consecutive deadly waves of the virus.

Since then, pandemic “conditions have changed”, Reiter said, noting that the healthcare system was no longer under significant stress from Covid.

READ ALSO: Munich’s Oktoberfest cancelled again over Covid

“I hope the situation does not get worse in the autumn and that the festival will not have to be called off at the last minute,” Reiter said.

Bavaria state premier Markus Söder said in a tweet that the return of Oktoberfest, also known as Wiesn, was “a good signal, especially in difficult times”.

He went on to say that Munich’s Oktoberfest stood for “joie de vivre and cosmopolitanism like no other folk festival”.

“It is Bavaria’s international flagship,” he added.

Most Covid curbs have been lifted in Germany, including the requirement to wear masks in shops and schools, while plans to introduce a vaccine mandate were dropped.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has cast a shadow over similar springtime festivities in Bavaria, where the subject has been hotly debated.

Cancelling the Oktoberfest as a result of the war “could not be justified”, Reiter said, while sharing his sympathies with Ukraine and Munich’s twin city Kyiv.

“Nobody can tell what the situation will be in autumn” with the war, the mayor said.

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CULTURE

Mondrian painting hanging upside down for 77 years: German museum curator

A painting by Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian has been hanging upside down for 77 years, says a curator at a German museum.

Mondrian painting hanging upside down for 77 years: German museum curator

A large retrospective of the avant garde artist’s work went on display Saturday at the Kunstsammlung museum in Dusseldorf, and one of the pieces on show is “New York City 1”, painted in 1941.

But as she prepared for the exhibition, curator Susanne Meyer-Buser discovered the painting had been presented to the public rather differently from how it was perhaps intended to be on show.

“In a photo from 1944, I saw that the canvas was the other way around on an easel. It intrigued me,” Meyer-Buser told German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

The painting, consisting of several lines in blue, red and yellow intersecting at right angles, was then displayed shortly after in the wrong way at MoMA in New York, the curator said.

It was then transferred to the Dusseldorf museum in 1980 and put on show in the same way.

The error could have been made because “the painting doesn’t have a signature”, according to Meyer-Buser.

The decision to present the work in the manner it has been for decades was probably determined by “the artist’s name inscribed on the back of the frame by the administrator of the (artist’s estate)” at the time of Mondrian’s death
in 1944.

Mondrian, born in 1872, was a noted exponent of the 1920s abstract art movement known as “De Stijl” and was one of the most influential figures in modern art in the 20th century.

In 1940, he moved to New York where the skyscrapers and layout of the city would inspire his horizontal lines. He died in New York in 1944.

His most famous artwork is “Victory Boogie Woogie”, considered one of the most important artworks of the 20th century.

 
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