More Sibiu and Missing Peace

Dear all,

After the opening, Ron and Darlene took everyone out for drinks and a fairly large group out for dinner.   We had plates of different sausages, cheeses, some great vegetables and salads, and one Romanian delicacy, which only a few of the Romanians seemed to really enjoy: a bowl of refined pig lard. I spread a very thin layer on some bread when urged to try it, and ate it with the traditional accompaniment, raw red onions. The dollar was at its strongest right then. We were delighted to chip in as the bill for dinner for 12 with people eating and drinking copiously was about what you'd pay for a dinner for two in San Francisco.

Don taking pictures from the pulpit with Kirsten Bahrs Janssen's piece to the left.

Working on a Condition Report. This thangka is from the Dalai Lama's personal collection. That's Tenzin, Era, Darlene, Fernando and a guard.

Found out that our suspicions were correct, shortly before his change of heart, the director of the Contemporary Art Museum had been visited by representatives of the Chinese government on at least one occasion, maybe two. Apparently they made him an offer he couldn't refuse. It is amazing how much effort they are putting into trying to suppress this art exhibition which merely considers the Dalai Lama and is not at all anti-Chinese. This is not the only venue where they have tried and sometimes been successful at stopping The Missing Peace from being shown. I guess nobody should even think of or consider the Dalai Lama.

Laurie Anderson's piece in process of being installed

View from our hotel: Sibiu and the Bridge of Lies. Don't stand on that bridge while telling a fib, or it will fall down - so they say... Note the eyes in the roofs of the houses.

When I thanked Killian Doerr profusely for stepping in and making the exhibition happen (by providing the other venues on such very short notice), he was very modest. He did say that his superior had asked him, Why are you doing this? He responded it was the right thing to do and that he was delighted to have the exhibition in the Church and the Museum. Killian told me something of the history of the Saxons in this part of Romania, and mentioned that his father had suffered a lot of hardship. He said, "We know what it is like to be exiles," referring to the Tibetans as well as the Saxons.

Brukenthal Museum Courtyard

A group of us got a great tour from Killian of the gigantic organ inside of the Church; really fascinating. It's a mammoth, handmade, hand-carved instrument. They have also kept a record of important papers connected with the organ, including what famous musicians and composers had visited through the centuries to play the organ.

The Brukenthal has the original of this very beautiful Jan Van Eyck painting, Man with a Blue Turban. Don was acting out what he thought the fellow might be holding in his hand and perhaps why he donned that blue turban.

Below is a photo of a very interesting tradition in Europe. This is a post which stands outside of a small house belonging to a guild of craftsmen and women who are in trades connected with, I think, building. They do an apprenticeship which lasts 3 years and 1 day during which they travel around and learn their crafts. Those who have come to live and work in Sibiu are invited to drive a nail into this post to commemorate their time here. Killian said a number of them have worked on the church.

Our hangout in Sibiu, Kaffe Vien, where they supposedly serve Viennese coffee, and where they do fly their pastries in from Vienna, which seems a bit absurd. Romanian pastries are quite good. That's Era, Liviana, who is a curator with the Brukenthal, Darlene, Ron, Corinne (sp?), Anna, and Tenzin. Corinne and Anna are curators from the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, who came down to see the exhibition. Maybe we will be going to Stockholm next!

Love from,

Era and Don