From the NürnbergConvention Center to the world: Usually the congresses and trade fairs in Nuremberg are all about bringing innovations, ideas and products into the international limelight, but this time it's a painting that's causing a stir. The work in question is "Self-Portrait in a Fur Coat" by Nuremberg's famous son, Albrecht Dürer. In fact it is a 300 square metre copy of the painting in the form of a jigsaw, and it is being sent by Nuremberg as a gift to the capital of Russia. The 15 by 20 metre puzzle will be the main attraction at the launch in Moscow of the ‛A Year of Germany in Russia’ project on 21 June 2012. Who was it painted by? A Nuremberger, of course. And no lesser figures than the Presidents of Russia and Germany, Vladimir Putin and Joachim Gauck, will be there themselves to have a go at the puzzle. To make sure that every last piece fits perfectly on Red Square, the puzzle has already been tested at the NCC Mitte at the NürnbergConvention Center.
Iconic German image
The incredible story surrounding the Dürer jigsaw, which is seen as an iconic German image around the world, is very relevant to the Year of Art 2012. The highlight of the event is the ‛Early Dürer exhibition’ at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM), the biggest museum of cultural history in the German-speaking world. From 24 May to 2 September there will be 200 original works on display – 120 of them by Dürer himself – making this the biggest Dürer exhibition for 40 years! Over 80,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to attend the show, which has received a budget of € 1.3 million.
During this period, appropriately enough, the 33rd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art (CIHA) will be taking place from 15 to 20 July at the NürnbergConvention Center. In some ways this represents a return to its roots for the congress, as Nuremberg once hosted the event in 1883 (its premiere was in Vienna in 1873). In all, over 2,500 participants are expected, and of course the topics will include the one and only Albrecht Dürer.
Nuremberg as the Congress City
So, as the painters, sculptors and other great minds of Nuremberg once settled in droves in the shadow of the majestic Kaiserburg in the 15th and 16th centuries, today the city's historic heart is alive with culture, gastronomy and events. All the city's big names are here – museums, squares, theatres, hotels and restaurants. There is a myriad of venues all within walking distance of each other. "The outline of the Nuremberg city wall is perfect as the basis of the NürnbergConvention's key visual – every day proves that we've correctly identified the needs of our customers, and that Nuremberg is being seen as the congress city," says Yvonne Coulin, Chief Executive of the Nuremberg Congress and Tourism Centre (Congress- und Tourismuszentrale, CTZ), which, along with NürnbergMesse, is behind NürnbergConvention.
"The management team at NürnbergConvention is delighted that, as a stimulus behind German art and culture, Nuremberg is the focus of so much attention this year,” says Sabina Linke, Head of International Acquisition and Marketing at NürnbergMesse and NürnbergConvention Center. “Firstly, because we're putting on the world-famous Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, and secondly, because the congress itself is a way of showing off the great diversity of Nuremberg today. The city has many cultural sites, most of which are very well suited for use as event venues too."
In Nuremberg everyone pulls together to meet the requirements of the event organiser, as the story behind the production of the Dürer jigsaw demonstrates. The puzzle, over 1,000 precision-cut pieces, was made by Messebau Wörnlein, the Nuremberg-based exhibition stand construction specialists. And of course Wörnlein also provides services to NürnbergConvention's customers – if they should ever be looking for something really special. Which, as it happens, is all the time.
Last piece of the puzzle: The Dürer jigsaw was tested in the NürnbergConvention Center. It will take centre stage at the launch of ‛A Year of Germany in Russia’ in Moscow's Red Square on 21 June.