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PRESS RELEASE

Closing of the Cultural Days of the European Central Bank – Netherlands 2010

16 November 2010

The Cultural Days of the European Central Bank – Netherlands 2010 came to an end yesterday evening with a Grand closing concert by the Nederlands Jeugd Strijkorkest (Netherlands Youth String Orchestra) at the Schauspielhaus Frankfurt. Talented young musicians aged between 12 and 21 took the audience on a European journey, performing pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, Claude Debussy, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Chiel Meijering.

This year’s Cultural Days, which were organised in cooperation with De Nederlandsche Bank and took place under the joint patronage of Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, and Nout Wellink, President of De Nederlandsche Bank, featured many of the artistic disciplines in which Dutch creativity excels. Ballet and modern dance, musical and theatrical performances, literature, design, architecture and cinematographic production were central to this year’s programme of events.

For the first time in the history of the Cultural Days of the ECB, a charity concert, organised in cooperation with the City of Frankfurt am Main, was held: on 30 October 2010 the brass and string ensemble of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) performed in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche. Entry to the concert was free of charge and attendees were invited to make a donation to the Frankfurt-based childcare organisation Kinderhaus Am Weingarten e.V. This organisation caters for underprivileged children between the ages of 6 and 12, many of whom have a migration background. A total of €6,000 was collected in donations following the concert. The ECB, together with the City of Frankfurt am Main and the Kinderhaus Am Weingarten e.V., would like to thank all those who made a donation.

“I was impressed by the variety of cultural events featuring highly talented, enthusiastic and, in many cases, young artists, who gave visitors a unique glimpse into contemporary Dutch culture for over three weeks. I would like to thank the City of Frankfurt for its longstanding and ongoing support, as well as the participating cultural venues and all our partners and sponsors who contributed to making the Cultural Days of the ECB – Netherlands 2010 a great success,” says Jean-Claude Trichet.

“I am delighted that the Cultural Days have been a resounding success. We are proud to have brought to Frankfurt a unique mix of Dutch culture, which was wonderfully well received. Once again we have seen that culture brings people together and forms a bridge between different countries. So I hope that, in the near and distant future, many more countries will act as theme country and present their cultural wealth under this admirable initiative by the European Central Bank,” states Nout Wellink.

Following Portugal (2003), Poland (2004), Hungary (2005), Austria (2006), Greece (2007), all EU Member States (2008), Romania (2009) and the Netherlands, Italy will be the theme country of the Cultural Days of the ECB in 2011. The opening event will take place on 19 October 2011. In line with the European leitmotif of “unity in diversity”, the Cultural Days of the ECB aim to raise awareness of the European Union’s cultural diversity and to contribute to fostering unity among Europeans.

Detailed information about the Cultural Days of the ECB – Italy 2011, which will be organised in cooperation with the Banca d’Italia, will be posted on the ECB’s website nearer the time.

Cultural Days

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