New website for Basel Museum Night makes for easier planning
The 18th Basel Museum night is set to take place on 19 January this year. Apart from the various museum openings and special exhibitions, this year’s culture event also offers a new and interactive website.
“There are only seven more nights until the museums open,” Eva Keller, manager of the museums of Basel-Stadt, said. A total of 36 museums and cultural institutions in Basel will offer a varied programme for the event. “The central message remains the same: to open up the diversity of Basel’s museums for everyone,” Ms Keller said.
But this also poses the same central problem for anyone who attends Museums Night every year: Where do I go? And where are my friends? This year, organisers provide additional help: With a new website, any visit can be planned individually and shared with friends. “This method is inspired by online shopping: You can put your favourites into a basket and then share this list with your friends,” Sonja Kuhn, co-manager of the Office for Culture of Basel-Stadt, said. But unlike online shopping, the list will neither cost anything nor is it binding. “The biggest challenge for Museum Night is to find your way through the immense variety of events,” Ms Kuhn said. Thanks to a personalised list of favourites, the digital generation will find it easier to orient itself.
Still exciting after 18 years
Basel Museum Night is a success story, a celebration in the middle of winter. Andreas Bignasca, director of the Basel Museum for Ancient Art and Sammlung Ludwig, has been part of this major event since the beginning. “We are living in a fast-moving society. The fact that the Museum Night has remained a success with the same concept year for years is wonderful,” he said. “It is a grand celebration, varied and rich.” There hasn’t been a lot of change since the beginning, but the excitement is still the same, he said.
The Musem Night is an evergreen among Basel’s annual cultural events. This year’s beginning of culture is also the start for the two co-managers of the Office for Culture of Basel-Stadt. “It is also a special event because it’s a special cooperation. The tri-national cultural region can be discovered,” Kathrin Gögel says.
The Museum for Natural History is a popular spot at every Museum Night. “We adhered to the traditional idea of showing people what is going on behind the scenes,” Yvonne Barmatter, head of communication of the Museum for Natural History, said. “During the Museum Night, employees who normally remain hidden in the preparatory stage or in science come to the fore.” This year, the museum will show how to conduct taxidermy on a bird. This activity is not for the faint-hearted.
There are rarely any moments of calm during the hustle and bustle of Museum Night. Some museums react to this rush and offer tours for small groups or in protected locations: In the Museum for Contemporary Culture, there is an “oasis of calm” and the Beyeler Foundation offers a flashlight tour through the park. In the Basel Münster, the Catherine Chapel in the cloister becomes a place of tranquillity and contemplation, and a symphonic orchestra will perform chamber music in the Nicholas Chapel.
The Kunsthalle is the ideal place for natural performers at the Museum Night: “All visitors are invited to create and display art,” manager Claudio Vogt says. “You will receive a ticket with a performance idea. That way, the Kunsthalle itself becomes a stage.”
The entire programme can be viewed on a flyer or on the new website. Everything is looking good for a successful Basel Museum Night 2018. Thanks to the new planning function on the website, you certainly won’t miss your favourite moments and events anymore.
World-class line-up at this year’s CSI Basel
The elite sport of competitive show jumping has come to Basel for the first time. The ninth five-star CIS Basel tournament began yesterday, kicking off the world championship year 2018.
There are 10 international show jumping competitions in total throught the world, nine of which are world championships with prize money in the sum of at least 30,000 Swiss francs. All in all, the total amount that can be won is 730,000 francs. The Longines Grand Prix this Sunday – which no Swiss rider has managed to win yet – is worth 330,000 francs. Last year, Belgian show jumper Niels Bruynseels won with Gancia de Muze. Martin Fuchs from Wängi was the best Swiss performer in fifth place with Clooney.
It is no surprise that the international elite is gathering in Basel – with the exception of the best riders from overseas, who will perform at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. In Basel, there are 64 riders from 19 nations who will show their expertise during 4 days. There are strong teams lined up: Team Olympia winner France with gold medal winners Roger-Yves Bost, Philippe Rozer, and top ten finale winner Kevin Staut, German aces Christian Ahlmann, Marcus Ehning, and Hans-Dieter Dreher from Eimeldingen, Belgium’s Grand Prix 2017 winner Bruynseels, St Moritz GP winner Wilm Vermier and the twin brothers Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts, Harrie Smolders from the Netherlands (second in the European Cup 2017 and World Cup winner in Mechelen last December).
The best among single riders are: Edwina Tops-Alexander from Australia (current leader in World Championship intermediate class), Portuguese rider Luciana Dinz (two-time world champion in Basel), Swedish rider Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (Grand Prix winner of 2014), British riders Scott Brash (former top global ranking rider) and the unbreakable Whitaker brothers John and Michael, as well as the current team European champions Denis Lynch and Bertram Allen.
The audience’s eyes are also on Swiss riders this year. They were not particularly convincing at the CSI Geneva and plan to make up for it at CSI Basel. There should not be just one Swiss victory in the major categories. Last year, Pius Schwizer won the main event with Balou Rubin. In the Championat of Basel, no Swiss rider has yet won the prestigious Basel drum (the main prize): In 2017, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson won with the now-retired Casall. Niklaus Rutschi from Lucerne was the best Swiss jumper, riding his horse Windsor (also retired).
Olympia and World Cup winners Steve Guerdat and Goteborg team European bronze winners Romain Duguet, Martin Fuchs, and replacement rider Janika Sprunger are the best among the Swiss delegation. Swiss champion and cup winner Pius Schwizer, Paul Estermann, Walter Gabathuler, Werner Muff, Jane Richards Philips, and Niklaus Rutschi are also part of the Swiss elite.
All in all, 19 Swiss riders are signed up for the five-star tournament, among them Young European winner Bryan Balsiger, and the full line-up of Swiss elite riders of Humlikon: Pius Schwizer, Niklaus Schurtenberger, and Rachel Baechler.