German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship kicks off in Copenhagen

08.11.2019 - Press release

Denmark and Germany are good neighbours, with close political, historical, economic and cultural ties. To showcase these extensive links, Germany and Denmark will celebrate a Cultural Year of Friendship in 2020, with more than 100 events and 12 high-profile projects. The year was officially launched today at the Danish Foreign Ministry by both Foreign Ministers, Heiko Maas and Jeppe Kofod, along with Danish Minister for Culture Rasmus Prehn.

At the opening event, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod emphasised the following about the German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship:

Relations between Denmark and Germany have probably never been better than they are today. The German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship should therefore be used to celebrate what has been achieved so far and to further deepen our political and economic cooperation. Denmark and Germany have a lasting bond of shared history. It is a vibrant history that is expressed in family ties, friendships, trade and cooperation. We are paying tribute to all that today – and throughout 2020.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas commented as follows:

Germany and Demark have the closest possible ties, not only at the political level, but also in terms of their cultural and intellectual history. Whether it be literature, architecture or education – Germans and Danes have inspired one another in so many areas. We want to celebrate this in 2020 through our Cultural Year of Friendship, and we want to rekindle our mutual intellectual curiosity.

Background information

The 2020 Cultural Year of Friendship aims to deepen and further develop the close historical ties and friendly relations between Germany and Denmark – with more than 100 events and 12 high-profile projects. The year begins with the Tyskland exhibition (Danish for “Germany”) at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The exhibition was officially opened today by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

“The Cultural Year of Friendship is designed to not only highlight our historical ties, but also to pay tribute to our shared values. In this day and age, understanding what connects us is extremely important. The artistic content that is being assembled and showcased for the Year of Friendship is very impressive, whether it be classic culture, modern art or civil society debates,” Danish Minister for Culture Rasmus Prehn underscored. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut, added that, “especially at a time when European cooperation is coming under pressure and people are retreating into isolation, our close cooperation towards fostering shared responsibility in the European cultural space is a reliable point of reference. The German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship that is being celebrated in both countries on both sides of the border impressively focuses on a wide range of creativity and innovation.”

High-profile projects of the Year of Cultural Friendship in Denmark

Thirty years after the fall of the Wall, the Tyskland exhibition, which will be shown at the National Museum of Denmark from 9 November to 1 March 2020, will put German cultural history on display, beginning with Gutenberg and Goethe all the way to Bauhaus, Volkswagen and Gerhard Richter. From 6 March to 18 April 2020, the Royal Danish Theatre will present Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children and thereby bring one of the most impressive modern anti-war plays to the Danish stage. In celebration of Beethoven Anniversary Year, STEGREIF.orchester will present its new programme in Aarhus in April 2020 focusing on Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The exhibition Always Together – Mostly Happy, which will run from 1 May to 30 September 2020 in Aarhus and Hamburg, will showcase young contemporary artists from the art scene in Denmark and Germany under the heading of communication and cultural identity.

High-profile projects of the Year of Cultural Friendship in Germany

From 10 March to 14 June 2020, the Glyptothek in Munich will display the Danish Arts Foundation’s jewellery collection. From 16 to 19 September 2020, the focus of the Reeperbahn festival will be on Denmark’s music scene, in a cooperative effort with Music Export Denmark. A two-day cultural and debate festival is being planned in Berlin for November 2020, in cooperation with the Humboldt-Forum and based on Danish folklore and cultural gatherings. On 19 November 2020, the exhibition Thorvaldsen & Ludwig will open at the Glyptothek in Munich, in celebration of the 250th birthday of the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Maas opens German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship in Copenhagen


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