Permanent Representation of the RS to the CoE /Newsroom /
20.05.2009  

A cultural promotion event in Strasbourg on the occasion of Slovenia's Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

On Wednesday, 20 May, two exhibitions, "Water – Our Hope" and "Tanja Pak – Works in Glass" will be inaugurated at the Council of Europe's Headquarters in Strasbourg. The promotion event organised by the Government Communication Office will be the first in a series of 54 events during the Slovenian Presidency of Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

On the occasion of the first meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, held on Wednesday, 20 May 2009, at the Council of Europe's Headquarters in Strasbourg, chaired by Slovenian Ambassador, Marjetica Bole, the first in a series of 54 events planned for the six-month period of Slovenia's Chairmanship, will be inaugurated. This first event will be a mosaic photographic exhibition of Slovenian national parks and protected areas entitled "Water – Our Hope", complemented by an exhibition of sculptures by Tanja Pak. 

The exhibition entitled "Water – Our Hope", a joint Slovenian-French project, shows Slovenian natural treasures, along with Slovenia's extraordinarily variegated landscape and high plant and animal diversity. About 63% of Slovenia's surface area is covered in forests, integrated into the Natura 2000 environmental network, with protected areas, often called parks, covering 12.6% of the surface. Slovenia has established 47 parks, including one national park, three regional parks and as many as 43 landscape parks. The exhibition presents eight protected areas most typical of various parts of Slovenia, and the waterways, a symbol of Slovenia. With its 7500 freshwater springs, 26000-km of rivers and streams, 200 artificial and natural lakes and 7700 occasionally active torrential streams, Slovenia ranks among European countries with the most abundant and dynamic waterways. 

Slovenia has a long tradition in the protection of nature and its waterways. Slovenians, aware of the interdependence between man and nature for a long time, have historically managed their natural resources with due care and in line with sustainable development principles, thus preserving typical landscape characteristics.

The landscape is an important part of the quality of life for both individuals and society as a whole. It provides a key component of natural heritage. Landscapes represent and consolidate national and European identity as indicated in the European Landscape Convention adopted in 2000 on the initiative of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is presided by Slovenia from 12 May to 18 November this year. The aim of the Convention is to promote landscape protection, comprehensive landscape management and awareness of the importance of landscapes as a value, a reflection of the action of natural and human factors.

Owing to its geographical location at the crossroads of three different worlds: the Alps, the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Plain, along with various cultures and influences, Slovenia is extremely diverse, which is reflected in modern interpretations of cultural heritage and demonstrated in the exceptional creations of top Slovenian designers and artists, including Tanja Pak who lives and creates in Ljubljana.

Within the ambient installation entitled "Tanja Pak – Works in Glass", the exhibition in Strasbourg  displays the sculptures called "Trees" and "Frames: 1. Stones, 2. Boats, 3. Branches", in which the energy of nature merges with stone, - iron, - glass,-  timber, - crucial elements for artistic expression and used by Tanja Pak to build her artistic creations. As an antipode to stone, timber and iron she uses a man-made product – glass, seeming fragile, mystical, almost unearthly with its transparency and providing added design value to the joint mosaic exhibition.

The mosaic exhibition, running until 18 June 2009, has been organised by the Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia in cooperation with the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia.