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Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2007

Residents travel to Germany for celebration of sister cities

June 7, 2007

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Lawrence artist Jan Gaumnitz, left, and Ernst- Joachim Meseck, the deputy mayor of Eutin, Germany, stand next to Gaumnitz's art installation in Eutin. The piece was installed in Eutin this week.

Lawrence artist Jan Gaumnitz, left, and Ernst- Joachim Meseck, the deputy mayor of Eutin, Germany, stand next to Gaumnitz's art installation in Eutin. The piece was installed in Eutin this week.

About 20 Lawrence residents felt at home in their sister city Eutin, Germany.

They ate Kansas City-style barbecue, sang "Home on the Range" and drank German beer Wednesday night during a welcome party.

The party served as a reaffirmation of the bond between the two cities. It also couldn't have had better timing.

As relations seemed to slide between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting Wednesday of the Group of Eight summit in Germany, these two cities were solidifying their relationship.

"Everyone in this town is well aware that the G-8 meeting is taking place in eastern Germany with Bush and Putin and riots," said Graham Kreicker, leader of the Lawrence delegation. "And we have a meeting of 200 people from two different cities and singing and dancing and real people-to-people bonding."

Eutin (pronounced oy-teen) has also been celebrating the city's 750th birthday this year.

The Lawrence delegation presented Eutin with a stainless steel sculpture by Lawrence resident Jan Gaumnitz, which Kreicker said represented the rebirth of relations between the two cities.

"Everybody seemed to be very pleased with it," Gaumnitz said. "And I think the theme of growth and renewal is a common theme and something they seemed to like."

The meeting helped renew interest in the sister city relationship, an exchange program that's done in many cities but oftentimes forgotten.

Frank Baron, a Kansas University German professor who helped start Lawrence's partnership with Eutin, said that wasn't the case here.

"The consulate in Hamburg has said our program is the most active in northern Germany," Baron said.

Kreicker said it is an interest that he hopes people in Lawrence reciprocate.

"There's 20 people here from Lawrence and they've all paid their own way and they all believe in outreach programs and feel it's necessary to counteract all this mischief in the world," he said. "So we would like to see more people in Lawrence take it seriously."

Comments

ImpactWinter 7 years, 2 months ago

thats just uncalled for; what sculpture doesn't look like something more...mundane...

its art, and its a thoughtful gift signifying the bonds that can exist between people regardless of nation.

luckily Germans aren't the jackasses we Americans are becoming, they might actually appreciate it...

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oldgoof 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps the art is not the thing to be embarrassed about in Lawrence, but the lack of appreciation of art as expressed by its citizens like Consumer1. . . The people of Eutin are highly educated, and appreciative of art styles ranging from medieval to post-modern. Their schools are very competitive and are enrollment magnets because of their emphasis on an internationalized curriculum. Their knowledge of history and current events would put Consumer1 to shame.

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RKLOG 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah hopefully all the German jackasses have been stopped at Nuremberg.

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