Europe culture news roundup

Danube’s roundup of the week’s Europe culture news includes the prospect of nuclear war, lethal illegal wells and a grenade masquerading as a potato


This week, first the US and then Russia suspended their participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty, which bans the use of short and medium-range missiles in Europe and which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the BBC that “All [European] allies agree with the United States [that] Russia has violated the treaty for several years [and is] deploying more and more of the new nuclear capable missiles in Europe.” Read the BBC’s summary of our increased likelihood of nuclear armageddon here.

The Local ran this excellent story on why the tragic death of a toddler who fell down a well in Spain is not an isolated incident.

Spain has also reduced the speed limit on its rural roads in an aim to increase safety, while Germany has for now decided to keep the complete lack of speed limits on its autobahns despite pollution concerns, the BBC reports.

On a related note, politicians in Brussels are considering making that city’s public transport free, following in the footsteps of Luxembourg, according to EurActiv.

The director of the British Museum has caused anger by suggesting that Britain’s removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece could be seen as a “creative act”, as covered in The Guardian.

The Art Newspaper analysed the brief but far too easy theft of a painting right off the wall of a Russian gallery during normal exhibition opening hours.

This year’s Berlin film festival is focusing more on women directors, according to AFP.

Politico reports on disagreements among EU countries over whether they should be allowed to grow American grapes for winemaking, with northern countries generally in favour but southern winemakers opposed. It’s all about the grapes’ “foxy” smell, apparently.

AFP had a nice piece on the “previously unthinkable” inclusion of a vegan round in this year’s World Pastry Cup, held in Lyon. Find out which European country fared best…

Megastar Spanish chef Ferran Adria is reopening the former four-time “world’s best restaurant” elBulli, according to Reuters, but as a training facility rather than an eatery.

France accidentally shipped a World War I hand grenade to Hong Kong in a batch of potatoes, AFP tells us.

Reuters reports on how the Dutch have moved their 125-mile speed-skating race to Austria because their own country isn’t cold enough.

And finally, The Local reports that more than half of Denmark’s population watched their national team become handball world champions for the first time.

Words: Craig Nicholson

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