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Christo opens gigantic ‘air’ sculpture in Ruhr

The largest inflatable object in the world has been unveiled in the city of Oberhasen in Germany’s Ruhr Valley. The sculpture,conceived by Bulgarian artist Christo, is being housed in a gigantic exhibition space.

Christo opens gigantic ‘air’ sculpture in Ruhr
Photo: DPA

The gasometer was built in the late twenties to store gas generated as a byproduct of the processing of iron ore. The installation, which takes up almost all of its interior, has airlocks which allow visitors to go inside. The entire structure is self-supporting and kept aloft by two air fans.

The sculpture, known as “big air package,” is 90 metres high and has a diameter of 50 metres. It’s made from a semi-transparent polyester fabric as well as 4,500 meters of rope and weighs 5.3 tonnes.

Workers spent 2,800 hours preparing the 12.5 kilometre-long seams. The 600 sheets of fabric were fastened together by ropes and Velcro, to allow as little air as possible to escape.

Skylights illuminate the interior, mirroring the effect of stained glass windows inside a church and the trapped air muffles sound.

The website of Der Spiegel magazine described the experience of climbing the steps inside the sculpture as “floating upwards as if inside a surreal raincloud.”

The project has been in the works since 2010. Christo, who has spent much of his life collaborating with his wife, fellow artist Jeanne Claude, has included her in his work since her death.

He speaks of her as if she were still alive: “We are 77 now and I don’t know how much time we have left, so we’re trying to speed things up now by working on numerous projects simultaneously.” The couple made their first sculpture involving air in 1966.

The “big air package” will be on display until December 30, 2013.

The Local/kkf

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CULTURE

Where to celebrate Diwali 2022 in Germany

The holiday of Diwali kicks off on Monday. Here's where you can celebrate all around Germany.

Where to celebrate Diwali 2022 in Germany

With over 100,000 Indians in Germany, and over 175,000 people of Indian descent, it’s little wonder that Diwali – the famous five day Hindi festival of lights starting this year on Monday October 24th – is being celebrated all around the Bundesrepublik

READ ALSO: Indians in Germany: Who are they and where do they live?

Even the House of Parliament in Frankfurt is honouring the holiday for the first time with a special reception on October 30th.

Diwali takes its name from the clay lamps or deepa (the event is sometimes called Deepawali) that many Indians light outside their home. With the days shortening in Germany, there’s all the more reason to celebrate light — especially over lively music, traditional dance and authentically spicy Indian cuisine.

We have rounded up some of the top events to celebrate around Germany, both the week of Diwali and afterwards, stretching into mid-November. If you have an additional event to suggest, email us at [email protected]

October 24th in Heidelberg

Happen to be in Heidelberg? Then it’s not too late to head to the Sweet Home Project, which will be cooking up a storm starting at 6:30pm. The menu includes an assortment of Indian sweets and savoury dishes. The collective only asks that participants bring along a candle (and a hearty appetite).

If you miss this event, and are still craving some (really) spicy traditional cuisine, the Firebowl Heidelberg is hosting a Diwali party on October 29th, replete with lots of food and drink and Bollywood beats the whole night. 

October 29th near Frankfurt

For those who fancy a Feier with a full-buffet, this celebration in Dreieich delivers through an all-you-can-eat dinner with traditional fare. Starting at 5pm and stretching into the early hours of the morning, the festive feast includes traditional Bollywood music by Derrick Linco. There’s also a dance party for kids, who receive free admission up to seven years old and €25 up to 14 years. Normal tickets go for €40 per person.

A previous Diwali celebration of traditional dance and music in Dresden. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Sebastian Kahnert

November 4th near Düsseldorf

On November 4th at 6pm, the Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft Düsseldorf will be hosting a family-friendly party in nearby Ratingen with classical Indian music and dance, a huge dinner and Bollywood music led by DJ SA-ONE. Tickets cost about €40 each, but children under six receive free entry. 

November 5th in Bonn 

The Indian Students Association of Bonn-Cologne will be hosting its biggest event of the year: for €10, event goers can try an array of Indian food, play classic games and tune into cultural performances. 

READ ALSO: Moving from India to Munich changed my life

November 12th in Essen 

Whether you like traditional bhajans or meditative ragas, this concert will capture many of the classic sounds of Indian music with artists such as Anubhab Tabla Ensemble, Debasish Bhattacharjee and Somnath Karmorak taking center stage. The performance starts at 5pm and costs €10. 

November 12th and 13th in Berlin

Indian food fans will get to enjoy 12 stands devoted to Indian cuisine and products, all coming from the local Indian community. The weekend-long festival will also include stand-up comedy from the Desi Vibes Comedy Group. Karaoke fans will also enjoy singing along with the Sounds of India group, followed by an after party on Saturday. All this only costs €2 at the door. 

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