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Culture

From George Clooney to Ai Weiwei, 2014 is a year of culture in Germany

The 100th anniversary of the start of World War I is in the spotlight this year, but there's plenty more to fill Europe's cultural calendars. DW presents the highlights, from Hollywood to modern art.

Ancient tales in Hamburg

Januar begins with a theater highlight: The Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg presents the ancient cycle "Die Rasenden" (The Frenzied), directed by Karin Beier. The cycle combined five ancient tragedies, telling interwoven tales from the accursed Greek dynasty Atreus.

Karin Beier, Photo: Marcus Brandt/dpa

Karin Beier is an influential player in Germany's theater scene

Berlin's red carpet

Once again, Berlin's annual international film festival, the Berlinale, will open on February 6. For 10 days, films spanning every genre will be presented at the 64th edition of the festival. Among other highlights, a restored version of the classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" from 1920 will be shown.

Also at the Berlinale, Hollywood star George Clooney will present his new art drama "Monuments Men." The film takes place in the period directly following World War II and follows US soldiers as they search for art stolen by the Nazis. At the end of the festival, Golden Bears will be awarded to the competing films in a variety of categories. British filmmaker Ken Loach is set to receive the honorary Golden Bear for his life's work.

Manga in Leipzig

From March 13-16, the Leipzig Book Fair will transform the eastern German metropolis into a Mecca for bookworms, as it does every year. Switzerland is the guest country for 2014. New this year: The Manga Comic Convention(MCC) will take place alongside the book fair. Interest in the colorful Japanese comics and cartoons has risen in recent years.

Manga Fans at the 2011 Leipzig Book Fair, Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/lsn

Manga fans are headed for Leipzig

Art Cologne and Ai Weiwei

In April, the global art scene will gather in Cologne in central-western Germany. Some 200 international galleries are set to present their collections of 20th and 21st century art at Art Cologne from April 10-13.

In Berlin, another artistic highlight is scheduled for the same week: Artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei will be showing works not yet displayed in Germany at the Martin-Gropius-Bau from April 3-7.

Questioning the Internet

Symbolic image of an eyeball peering through a computer screen, Photo: Fotolia/Eisenhans

Online surveillance will be a hot topic at re:publica

In recent years, re:publica has established itself as one of the most significant social media fairs and from May 6-8 the digital world will gather once again in the German capital. "Into the Wild" is the motto for 2014. Dealing with digital surveillance will be a key area of discussion and questions like "How closely should the Internet be monitored?" and "Can online culture remain untamed?" will be addressed by visitors, speakers and exhibitors.

Richard Strauss's 150th birthday

On June 11, 2014, German composer Richard Strauss, renowned for his operas "Salome" and "Elektra," would have turned 150 years old. Across Germany, concerts of his works will be held in his honor. The annual Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (June 11-19) is dedicated to its namesake this year as well. Born in Munich, Strauss lived in Garmisch for 40 years.

In commemoration: World War I

A century ago, on June 28, 1914, the heir to the Austrian throne, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife were shot death in Sarajevo. Their assassination is viewed as the trigger to World War I. This year, numerous exhibitions across Germany will look back at the tragedy that reshaped the continent and had a disastrous snowball effect throughout the last century. The exhibition "1914-1918. The First World War" will take place in the German Historical Museumin Berlin from June 6 to December 7.

Franz Ferdinand and his wife, pictured in Sarajevo shortly before they were assassinated on June 28, 1914, Photo: picture-alliance/dpa

Franz Ferdinand and his wife, pictured in Sarajevo shortly before they were assassinated on June 28, 1914

Even the Salzburg Festival, from July 18 to August 23, will commemorate World War I with the pacifist theater production "The Last Days of Mankind" by Karl Kraus.

The Bayreuth Festival (July 25 to August 28) and the Ruhrtriennale (August 15 to September 28) are annual theater highlights in Germany. This will be Heiner Goebbels' last year as director of the Ruhrtriennale.

Northern lights in Frankfurt

Aurora Borealis pictured in Lapland, Finland, Photo: picture alliance/WILDLIFE

The northern lights will be coming to Frankfurt - in literary form

When the days start growing shorter, it will be time once again for the Frankfurt Book Fair(October 8-12). This year, Finland is the guest country at the world's largest book event. Its motto is simple: "Cool. Finland." More than 100 Finnish books are expected to be released in German translation this year, and some 50 authors will be presented in Frankfurt and around Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

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