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Cultural Digest: Don't miss these events in Europe this week

Cultural Digest: Don't miss these events in Europe this week

Not all of us are lucky enough to be invited along to Cannes where you can split your time soaking up the rays of southern France and catching first glimpses of the year’s most exciting films. Here’s what we can recommend for anyone not in sunny Cannes.

Museums

The UK’s annual Art Fund Museum of the Year competition just announced its shortlist for the 2023 prize. The 10th edition of the country’s biggest museum award has a top prize of nearly €140,000 and the selection committee have come up with a shortlist that spans the nation.

First there’s the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, which holds an impressive selection of Chinese art as well as classics by Rembrandt and Degas. In London, check out nominees The Natural History Museum with its famous collection of dinosaur bones or Leighton House, a smaller museum that is both the studio-home of leading Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton as well as a space for contemporary exhibitions.

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The standing stones in Orkney - Canva

Over in Northern Ireland’s Belfast is The MAC, an arts centre offering a massive culture programme across all art fields, while on the remote island of Hoy in northern Scotland you can find the Scapa Flow Museum for a history of the Orkney island people during the two World Wars.

Film

You don’t have to be in Cannes to get your fill of arty films. If you’re in Amsterdam this week, you should check out the Rialto Cinema for its season of Ingmar Bergman classics. The Swedish director behind cinematic masterpieces like 1957’s The Seventh Seal and 1966’s Persona is the focus for the volunteer-run cinema with nine of his films scheduled. A must see for any cinephile.

AB Svensk Filmindustri
Bengt Ekerot in 'The Seventh Seal' - AB Svensk Filmindustri

Music festivals

It’s official, Summer has arrived. And with Summer, comes music festivals. The first of the big guns is Primavera. The multi-location city music festival will cover Madrid and Porto before travelling to South America later in the year. First and foremost is the Barcelona weekend that started the festival off. With a free access night on the 31st featuring the Pet Shop Boys, this year’s line-up has anyone’s tastes covered with the main weekend from the 1st of June including legends like Blur, Halsey, New Order, Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode, Rosalía and Calvin Harris.

Wine and Food

You had me at wine! In the city of Tours in the Loire Valley of France, this week kicks off one of the most exciting food festivals of the year. The 20th anniversary of the Vitiloire Festival is expected to welcome more than 35,000 visitors to enjoy the creations of 10 gourmet chefs, 150 winegrowers, as well as cooking workshops and wine tastings. Oh and did we mention it’s free to attend? Hold my keyboard, I’m off to the Loire Valley.

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Pont Wilson in Tours - Canva

TV

On streaming this week, Arnie’s back. Everyone’s favourite Austrian bodybuilder/action star/politician returns to our screens in the Netflix action-comedy series ‘Fubar’. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brenner, a CIA operative with a daughter who’s also in the CIA. The catch is, neither knows the other is a secret agent. If it sounds daft, you’re absolutely right. Arnie’s turn as a spy is a fun and engaging bit of telly to soak up your Sunday this weekend.

Music

While we mourn the loss of Tina Turner, another legendary musical octogenarian is in the headlines for more upbeat reasons. The shorter half of Simon & Garfunkel, multi-instrumentalist Paul Simon has released his 15th solo album ‘Seven Psalms’.

The 81-year-old is just as creative as ever and features a seven-part acoustic suite that is as bold as it is restrained. If the sun’s out, this is a beautiful record to put on and wile away some time with the folk icon.

Opera

With one of the best cultural programmes on the European calendar, the Athens Epidaurus Festival kicks off this week with a performance of ‘Madama Butterfly’, the opera by Giacomo Puccini featuring the Greek National Opera.

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Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens - Canva

Right in the heart of Athens, the festival is spread across classical and modern venues. The first performance of the opera is taking place in the epic Odeon of Herodes Atticus amphitheatre.