BELGIUM TODAY       JANUARY 2014  
 
WHAT'S COMING
 
 
 
February 6-13
Arlington and Reston, VA
Come as you are, a movie by Geoffrey Enthoven will be screened at the Reelabilities Film Festival Opening Night (Feb 6 at 7:00pm) and during the festival (Feb 8 at 7:30pm). Website
 
 
March 1
Madison, WI
Pro Arte Quartet will feature the world premiere of String Quartet No. 3 by Belgian composer Benoit Mernier. Website
 
WHAT'S ON
  
Through January 5
Washington, DC
Look for works by Flemish artists Aegidius Sadeler and Bartholomaeus Spranger in the exhibition Northern Mannerist Prints from the Kainen Collection, at the National Gallery of Art.
 
Through  January 12
New York, NY 
The exhibition Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 includes 80 paintings, collages and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals and early commercial work, at the Museum of Modern Art.
 
Through January 13
San Marino, CA
The exhibition Face to Face: Flanders, Florence and Renaissance Painting juxtaposes 15th century Flemish and Italian paintings, at the Huntington.
 
Through January 18
New York, NY
New oil paintings by Jan De Vliegher, at the Mike Weiss
Gallery.  Website 
 
Through March 23
Gainesville, FL
The exhibition Kongo Across the Waters, co-organized by the Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren,  explores Kongo art and cultural expression on both sides of the Atlantic, at the Samuel P. Harn Museum, University of Florida. Website
 
 
VISIT OUR SITES: 
 
The Embassy of Belgium to the USA wishes you a happy 2014!
 
 
FAREWELL AFTER 37 YEARS AT THE EMBASSY
On December 20, the Embassy of Belgium said farewell to Mrs. Andrea Murphy who left after almost 37 years loyal services to Belgium and its embassy in the USA. 
 
Andrea Murphy started her career at the Embassy as Cultural Attaché in 1977. Her first mission was to prepare the 1978 Birmingham Festival of Arts’ “Salute to Belgium”. Later, she worked on what was probably the most comprehensive view of Belgium’s extremely rich culture ever presented in the USA, namely the three-city (NY, SF and Washington DC) festival “Belgium Today” held in 1980 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Belgium’s independence.
 
Over the years, Andrea Murphy has seen Belgium evolving to a federal country in which competences were redistributed between federal, regional and communities’ governments. She has worked with nine ambassadors and dozens of diplomats and embassy staff members and is as such the living memory of the embassy. Andrea Murphy was also the editor and main author of the Embassy’s newsletter Belgium Today from its first –paper- edition in February 1996 until the –electronic- edition of December 2013.
 
The Ambassador paid tribute to Andrea for her discrete but efficient work and her invaluable contribution to the working of the Embassy and the positive image of Belgium in the USA. He awarded her with the Civic Decoration, Cross Second Class, for her exemplary service to Belgium. Andrea will be missed by embassy staff, Belgians in the USA and American friends of Belgium.
 
MORE CHANGES AT THE EMBASSY
 
 
Brigadier General Mike Delobel, Defense Attaché for Belgium to the United States, has left the Embassy in view of his retirement early 2014. 
 
His successor, Brigadier General (Air) Johan Andries will take up duties on January 6, 2014.
 
COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE (BATTLE OF THE ARDENNES)
The Battle of the Bulge, or the Battle of the Ardennes, was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II.  The hostilities began on December 16, 1944 and ended on January 25, 1945 with enormous loss of life in both camps.  This battle was also the largest land-battle that US troops ever undertook.
 
Every year, the Battle of the Bulge is commemorated in the USA by Belgian and Luxembourg diplomatic and Defense officials in the presence of veterans, family members and friends. On December 16, Belgium’s Ambassador Jan Matthysen and Luxembourg’s Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld laid a wreath at the Battle of the Bulge monument at Arlington National Cemetery. See the photo gallery on the Embassy’s facebookpage.
 
On December 16, H.E. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, held the traditional reception in honor of the American veterans of the Battle of the Bulge at his Residence in Washington DC. 
 
SAINT NICHOLAS IN DC
An other tradition, on a lighter note, is Saint Nicholas’ visit to Washington to meet with Belgian kids –and parents- living in the DC area. On December 8, Ambassador and Mrs. Matthysen opened their Foxhall Road residence to families of the Belgian clubs Vlamingen in de Wereld and l'Union des Francophones Belges à l'étranger for this much-loved celebration of St. Nicholas.
 
Saint Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas or Saint Nicolas in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and some parts of France. In Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and even in more countries in Central and South-East Europe, other holiday figures based on Saint Nicholas are celebrated. He is also -indirectly- known in the USA as the name Santa Claus supposedly derived from the older Dutch Sinterklaas which was brought to North-America by settlers who came from the Low Countries (the Netherlands and Belgium) through the colony of New Amsterdam (currently New York).
 
BELGIAN SHRIMP FISHERMEN RECOGNIZED BY UNESCO
Oostduinkerke, on the Belgian coast, is the only place in the world where you can see fisherman riding powerful Brabant draft horses trawling the water for North Sea shrimps. This unique fishing tradition, engaging today twelve households in Oostduinkerke, has been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
 
This traditional shrimp fishing on horseback gives the Oostduinkerke community a sense of identity. It underlines the close relations between humans and nature and promotes respect for the marine environment and sustainable development.
 
The last week of June this fishing tradition is celebrated in the Garnaalfeesten. Are programmed, amongst others, parade, taste of the catch and evening events on the Oostduinkerke promenade.
 
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK  here 
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008
washington@diplobel.fed.be or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.

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