26/07/2002 Next October the Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation will hold an extensive and varied cultural programme. Included in the events are Literary Conferences with the participation of prestigious writers such as Ken Follett, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rosa Regas, Julio Llamazares and Eduardo Mendoza. They are attending as part of the project which, under the title "Encounters with the Cathedral", and together with many other cultural events, contributes in shaping the Cultural Heritage of Vitoria-Gasteiz. In addition to the conferences the programme includes a cycle of holy music, a short story competition, a leading national open-air speed-painting competition, a cinema series and open radio conferences.
"Encounters with the Cathedral" represents a new and important
step in disseminating information on the restoration of the most emblematic
gothic building in the Basque Country. Apart from the material recovery
of the building, the Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation undertakes extensive
work on spreading social, cultural and tourist information via conferences,
seminars, exhibitions, publications, etc. In this particular instance,
efforts are being concentrated on an ambitious project which, between
the months of October this year and February 2003, will convert Vitoria-Gasteiz
and Alava into a reference point in the cultural world. The aim is to
establish the bases of a cultural programme linked to the Cathedral and
what this represents in its different forms.
For this purpose, the Foundation, thanks to an agreement signed with the Regional Government of Alava, has designed a varied top-quality programme in which the Literary Conferences with well-known writers are worth particular mention. The aim of this initiative is to analyse, among other themes, the relation which has existed for centuries between cathedrals and culture, and how writers have progressed from being practically unknown to becoming gods who exploit their signature to the full. Furthermore, the changes that have taken place in Literature, Science and Thought, from the Middle Ages to the present day, will also be described.
The protagonists of this first conference-colloquium (talk) will be five
well-known writers: Ken Follett, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rosa Regás,
Julio Llamazares and Eduardo Mendoza. The encounters will be held in the
Palacio de Congresos Europa (Europa Congress Hall) between the months
of October 2002 and February 2003. With these Literary Conferences, the
Foundation aims to facilitate contact between prestigious authors and
a great number of people.
"Pillars of the Earth"
For this first edition of "Encounters with the Cathedral" the Foundation has chosen five writers whose works top the sales list both nationally and internationally. The conferences will begin in the month of October with Ken Follett, writer of numerous best sellers and author of "Pillars of the Earth". This work, one of the best historic novels, is deeply related to the integral restoration of the Old Cathedral as it describes the construction process of a cathedral in England in the twelfth century.
The conference cycle, due to take place monthly, will continue in November
with Rosa Regás, winner of the prize Premio Planeta 2001 with the
novel "La Canción de Dorotea" (Dorothy´s Song).
The writer Julio Llamazares, one of the most prominent figures in current
Spanish narrative, will participate in December. Llamazares is to prepare
a historic itinerary on Spanish cathedrals which will include Santa Maria.
Eduardo Mendoza, a crucial figure in Spanish literature, is the author
of "La ciudad de los prodigiosos" (City of the Prodigious).
The conference cycle will end in February with Mario Vargas Llosa, one
of the most prolific and award-winning Latin American writers (whose awards
include the Prince of Asturias and Cervantes).
Running at the same time as the Literary Conferences, the programme "Encounters
with the Cathedral" includes five other important events aimed at
promoting Culture and Art. The conferences with the prestigious novelists
constitute the central core of the programme but there are other cultural
activities related to the temple. These activities include a short story
competition, a leading national painting competition, a cycle of holy
music, open radio conferences, a cinema cycle with films such as "The
Hunchback of Notre Dame" or "The Name of the Rose" and
a live recording of Gregorian chant on CD.