CURRENT AFFAIRS François Bausch interview
BUSINESS Green at work
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GREAT URBAN OUTDOORS
BAR OWNER SEBASTIAAN VAN DER WEERDEN IS READY FOR THE TERRACE
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Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
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Mike Zenari shot Sebastiaan van der Weerden at Go Ten. CORRECTION In the April 2016 edition, we mistakenly misspelled the name of the Venezuelan architect featured in our cover story. She is Carolina Lazo. ¡Perdón! NOTE TO OUR READERS
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hat a difference 18 months has made. Or has it? Luxembourg hit the international headlines in the autumn of 2014 for all the wrong reasons, thanks to the publication of the so-called LuxLeaks documents highlighting the Grand Duchy’s favourable tax rulings to multinational corporations. Even though the documents revealed nothing that hadn’t previously been suspected--and indeed, revealed nothing technically illegal--the world reacted with pantomime shock, leaving the government’s nation branding exercise in disarray and the country on the verge of becoming an international pariah. Leap forward to the winter of 2016 and the headlines on a quick search of international new sites referencing Luxembourg were all about the Grand Duchy “blazing a trail in asteroid mining”. And then the Panama Papers hit the headlines. Even though Luxembourg was cited by a few newspapers, particularly in neighbouring countries with a vested interest in how its citizens manage their money through the likes of Bil subsidiary Experta Corporate & Trust, it seemed as though the big headlines focusing on the likes of British premier David Cameron, the resignation of Icelandic prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Vladimir Putin et al. had somehow, so far, let Luxembourg off the hook. Strangely, the
mud was much more gently slung at Panama than it had been at Luxembourg 18 months previously--as though the exotic nature of the country somehow excused its behaviour in a way that Luxembourg could only dream of. But the scale of the biggest ever leak of documents also brought into sharp focus the practices of states such as US Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming as well as other ‘offshore’ territories like the British Virgin Islands, and neatly deflected the spotlight from Luxembourg. That may all change come the 26th of April, however. That is the date set for the trial in Luxembourg of former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee Antoine Deltour, along with a former colleague and a French journalist, for stealing the documents that were published in the LuxLeaks case. Luxembourg must be hoping for further Panama Papers shocks, otherwise the focus in the international press will shift back to him during the five days scheduled for the trial (it may, of course, take longer). The Grand Duchy just can’t catch a break, it seems. CITÉ JUDICIAIRE The courts will be the focus of media attention during the LuxLeaks trial of Antoine Deltour, a former PwC colleague and French journalist Édouard Perrin
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DELANO MAY 2016 CURRENT AFFAIRS 10
UPFRONT Catching up with…
The author of a petition calling for improved work-life balance for parents says she is seeking better development for future generations. 12
SNAPSHOTS Prisoners of parties
UPFRONT Catching up with…
The president of Green Heart Toastmasters is hoping to live until 2096. 34
STARTUPS Helping firms get shipshape
How did the Grand Duchy become home to the world’s most powerful secondary ion mass spectrometry instrument; what happens when a priest, a rabbi and a minister run a marathon together; where can Luxembourg residents get support for eating disorders; how did the designer behind Mateo New York end up running his jewellery empire from here; is Design Friends sexist; and who is Claude Turmes? 20
INTERNATIONAL Improving the daily commute
UPFRONT Grand Duchy files
Whether you make the bridge, make a sandwich or do the squeeze, holiday weekend planning sure is complicated this year. 64
SNAPSHOTS True colours
The relationship between the EU and UK has undergone “recurrent issues which have never been resolved”, according to a panellist at a University of Luxembourg and Pro Europa conference.
THE JOURNAL Dispatches from Delano writers
DELANO DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS
The “Fit for Start” initiative offers advice and cash to boost entrepreneurs and their growth plans. 38
COVER STORY Great urban outdoors
REAL ESTATE Rising property prices
It is a complicated business getting homes built in this country, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Plus, how much have housing costs really risen in recent years? 46
FINANCE Spot the tax haven
Luxembourg truly comes alive when the sun comes out. Terraces spill out onto the pavements, live music can be heard from the public squares, and the smell of barbecue and street food wafts through the streets. Delano talks to some of the people making things happen in the city this summer. Plus, 12 of the capital’s best urban terraces.
Many countries use tax arrangements to attract international firms. A recent study shows how Luxembourg stacks up. 50
Firm reckons these are Luxembourg’s top mutual funds www.delano.lu/news/year-s-bestmutual-funds-says-morningstar
HOUSE & HOME Bite the bullet
What UN report says www.delano.lu/news/how-happyluxembourg
More than 10,000 people turned up for a 24-hour charity walk at d’Coque.
François Bausch, the sustainable development and infrastructure minister, talks about speed radar cameras, boosting public transport and cycling, and his take on Uber.
HOW HAPPY IS LUXEMBOURG?
REGISTER IN TIME
Embassy issues referendum advisory www.delano.lu/news/registertime-eu-poll-says-embassy
ENVIRONMENT Going green at work
Here’s how to buckle down and make your place eco-friendly, indoors and out.
IN FOCUS Hunt for a perfect Péckvillchen
SECOND-HAND Bring and buy Employers are becoming more ecologically conscious. Here are a few small steps that your firm could take that will add up fast.
Delano’s photographer had to keep an extra eye out on Easter Monday.
MY OTHER LIFE To infinity and beyond
How energy efficiency expert Jeannot Behm moves past the line of sight away from the office.
Where one person’s trash truly can be another one’s treasure. 98
MY FAVOURITES Keeping fit and making friends
Venezuelan Alvaro Baudet shares some sociable and sporty spots.
TEAM TALK Meet Delano’s journalists and photographers: www.delano.lu/TeamTalk
Benjamin Champenois Morningstar Luxembourg David D’Amico (CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
FLOCK OF FLAMINGOS
sually “flamingos are found in tropical and subtropical areas” and “are generally non-migratory birds”, according to the biologists at SeaWorld in Florida; however hundreds of them were spotted in Clausen in March. The natural phenomenon occurred during Delano’s Latin American-themed “Miami Beach Party” that marked both the publication’s 5th anniversary and the release of its April 2016 edition, which put the spotlight on the Latin American community in Luxembourg. More than 1,200 feathered and non-feathered friends participated in the event, which was held in partnership with Luxair and Melusina; sponsored by Les Thermes, Kichechef and Sacred Heart University; and organised by Delano’s sister outfit, the Paperjam Club. Animal welfare authorities reported that the flamingos safely returned to their native habitat following the soirée. For more on migrant flights paths, check the Delano website.
FAMOUS PINK BIRDS 1. Dominique, Céline and Vincent 2. Kamelia and Miroslav 3. Gorgio, Sabrina, Anna, Sachim and Romain 4. Jennifer, John, Stephanie, Michaela and Lucia 5. From second left: Fabiola, Marc, Gaetan and Cédric 6. Karolina and Linda 7. Jana, Anna, Jugera and Delano’s Wendy C. 8. Delano’s Cassandre, Sophie, Aaron and Duncan 9. Angela and Harald-Sven
PRETTY IN PINK:
10. Laura and Anne 11. Mario 12. Mathilde, Sophie, Rachida and Charlene 13. Elodie and Fabrice 14. Delano’s Duncan, Luciana, Aaron and Anca 15. Tim, Delano’s Tonya and Alexandra 16. Tony, Tatiana and Anne 17. Véronica and Israel 18. Iris and David 19. Rosaria and David 20. Steve, Camille and David 21. Nuhamin, Ilir and Vinzenz 22. Delano’s Wendy W. with Diana
Photography by MARION DESSARD
MIAMI BEACH STYLE 23. Sophie Kerschen 24. Síle Reidy, on left, two days before being selected Luxembourg Rose of 2016 25. A salsa dance demonstration by the Alkemia School of Dance 26. Steve Albrecht, Francisco Benavente and Carolina Lazo with a copy of Delano’s April issue 27. DJ Carlos Pereira’s groovy salsa sounds
PARTY OF FIVE: WWW.DELANO.LU/ DELANOTURNS5
28. Delano’s 5th birthday bash, held 10 March at Melusina 29. Delano’s Duncan Roberts and Antoine Rech announce that Zhanna Gervorgyam, Sam Jahan and Ekaterina Litvinova each won a free course in SHU’s MBA programme 30. Grainne Corr and Merete Clausen
31. A party guest enters to win a €1,000 voucher from Kichechef 32. Rachida Bensaber (centre) also won a pair of roundtrip tickets, presented by Luxair’s Benoît Berger (right) 33. Jean-Marc Derigat of Kichechef and Mario Nothum of Les Thermes 34. Les Thermes distributed free entry bracelets to party guests 35. Antoine Rech of Sacred Heart University beats a piñata to find winning contest entries
36. Duncan Roberts, Benoît Berger and Winfried Kornberg, who won free return flights from Luxair 37. Andrew Lintner and Judith Schilling 38. Anna Dober and Sylwia Pomienska
SIMPLIFYING NATIONALITY CONDITIONS Justice minister Félix Braz unveiled the government’s proposed amendments to the legislation governing the adoption of Luxembourg nationality in March. The new legislation is aimed at making it easier for non-Luxembourgers to obtain nationality. One major change to previous legislation is that children born in the Grand Duchy to non-Luxembourgish parents will automatically receive Luxembourgish nationality on coming of age at 18, under certain residency conditions. Perhaps the most significant change is that the residency criteria has once again been reduced to five years, from the seven years that was adopted under the last reform. Knowledge of
Luxembourgish remains a criteria, though the language test has also been simplified--candidates must obtain level A2 for oral expression and level B1 for oral comprehension, but the score in the latter can offset a poor mark in oral expression. Obligatory attendance of the “Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” course is also a requirement. In addition, several “optional” criteria allow for exemptions from the naturalisation requirements, such as anyone who has spent at least seven years in public education in the Grand Duchy, or those who have been legally resident for at least 20 years.
UNI AMONG BEST NEWCOMERS
The University of Luxembourg has been ranked the 14th best “young” university in the world in a Times Higher Education survey. Evaluated in five categories, Luxembourg scored particularly high in the international outlook and citations criteria. University president Rainer Klump said the institution was very proud of its achievement, and added: “It is our goal to become one of the future leaders in higher education.” May 2016
Luxembourg is preparing to welcome a further 700 refugees over the next 18 months, says foreign minister Jean Asselborn. As part of the one-for-one agreement, the refugee exchange deal struck between the EU and Turkey, the first 50 Syrian refugees from Turkey arrive in May. “But we must also be aware that the ‘relocation’ system is also still running,” says Asselborn, referring to the agreement that requires Luxembourg to take in over 500 refugees currently in Greece and Italy. The difference is that with the “relocation” system refugees will only begin their asylum application procedure when they arrive in the Grand Duchy. He is also concerned that the number of migrants from North Africa traversing the Mediterranean to Italy is once again growing now that the seas are calmer. “Around 1,000 people a day are arriving.” Luxembourg has also seen an increase in immigrants arriving from Kosovo, says an RTL report. Unemployment in the Balkan states is close to 50%, and, with a large Kosovan community settled in Luxembourg since the armed conflict in the country in the 1990s, many seeking a better life in western Europe end up here with family or friends.
Sven Becker > Charles Caratini > Luc Deflorenne
CÉLINE LE CAM The author of a petition calling for improved work
GLOBAL ISSUES NETWORK
In March, international school students from 15 countries met at the GIN conference (www.globalissuesnetwork.org). More at: www.delano.lu/GIN2016
Lala La Photo
MAKING A DIFFERENCE A. Pascal Monteville, Valérie Isbecque, Cédric Javanaud B. Maxine Hoesdorff, Marcel Grossarth and Francisca Carvalho C. The “Caring for Humanity Through Innovation” workshop D. Debra Bufton, Rania Khan, Ambre Bosko and Gustavo Espinosa
CATCHING UP WITH…
life balance for parents says she is seeking better development for future generations. Céline Le Cam is on a mission. She has launched a petition calling for legislation to allow parents to work part time so that they can spend more quality time with their children. “The majority of parents I meet suffer from not spending more time with their children,” says Le Cam. Indeed, those working a full time job may have to leave their children in day care for up to 10 hours, and often from the age of just three months. Children’s development can also suffer from these absences, especially if they are sensitive or susceptible to illness. “The staff at day-nurseries and after school care facilities can be very attentive and competent, but nothing replaces the family cocoon,” she qualifies. Le Cam’s petition calls for legislation allowing employees more flexibility in choosing to work part time or to take unpaid leave, especially to look after and help educate their children. “Contrary to Germany and the Netherlands, for example, and except for parental leave, in Luxembourg an employee has no right to reduce their working hours or to obtain any form of unpaid leave in order to bring up their children.” Le Cam admits that part time work would not be a choice for everyone, and she says she does not judge those who choose an alternative. “But each family should have the possibility of choosing what best suits their child, and parents should be allowed to work part time if need be.” As well as being allowed to cut their working hours, the petition also calls for legislation allowing the transfer of social benefits of the parent who works most to the partner who has chosen to take care of children. She thinks that providing more flexibility would also encourage more women, as well as men, to re-enter the workforce after taking a break to bring up their children. And Le Cam also recognises that the law, if adopted, would have to be drafted with the consultation of employers as well as parents to meet the needs of businesses. “More and more parents want to be more involved in their child’s education and upbringing, and it is time the law reflected this need. But people have to realise this shortcoming and need to take action to change the law.” Petition no. 620 is open for signature until 3 May on the Chambre des Députés website, www.chd.lu. Interview by DUNCAN ROBERTS Photography by LALA LA PHOTO May 2016
Text by WENDY CASEY
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
PRISONERS OF PARTIES
ince 1974, when Harold Wilson was elected the UK’s prime minister, Britain’s political leaders have been prisoners of their own parties; so claimed Aindrias Ó Caoimh, a former judge at the European Court of Justice and Ireland’s High Court, during a conference held by the University of Luxembourg and Pro Europa, a lobby group. His co-panelist, Susana Muñoz of the CVCE research centre, said that the relationship between the UK and EU has undergone “recurrent issues which have never been resolved”. One attendee, Jochen Begas, an independent board director, noted: “When two parties try to strike a deal, both have to agree”; otherwise it is not a true accord.
BREXIT TALK A. René Leboutte, a University of Luxembourg professor, and Aindrias Ó Caoimh, former judge at the European Court of Justice B. “The Future of a United Kingdom in the European Union” workshop hosted by the University of Luxembourg (www. uni.lu) in March C. Tom Skinner, Peter Cullen and Patrick Twiddle of Pro Europa Luxembourg D. Alexander Scheibe and Sara Scheibe-Thakeb E. Nicolas Casuccio, Moritz Rehm and Till Droste F. Susana Muñoz G. Yuehao Lin and Patrick Bilbault H. Michael Sim I. Barbara Fichter and Buzura Evans
MORE HIGHLIGHTS: WWW.DELANO.LU/ FUTUREOFUKINEU16
BEAM UP THESE SAMPLES The world’s most powerful “secondary ion mass spectrometry” instrument is based in the Grand Duchy. It sounds a bit like Star Trek when you hear how it works.
hat happens when a research centre in Belval opens up a “standard” industrial microscope and bolts on a mass spectrometer? Answer: the most powerful device of its kind, which hopefully will lead to breakthroughs in fields from pharmaceuticals to solar energy. It is “the marrying of the
microscope with the mass spectrometer that gives something that’s greater than the sum of its parts,” says David Dowsett of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. “So together they form the highest lateral resolution Sims [secondary ion mass spectrometry] instrument in the world.” Just how small can its pictures be? “The resolution of the Sims images is around 10 nanometres, which is [approximately] 10,000 times smaller than a human hair.” Helium ion microscopes use an ion beam (instead of using light or electrons)
to scan a sample (other sources such as neon can be used too). Mass spectrometers identify the chemical composition of substances using an ionisation process. But previously the two techniques were never used in one single machine. In the List-designed device, software keeps track of what is imaged at each moment. “The ion beam strikes a very, very tiny area on the sample; it removes some material. We collect that material and because we know where the ion beam was, we know where that material came from. So as we scan the ion beam across the surface of the material, we build up a picture of what the distribution of different elements in the sample looks like.” This integration means the lab can conduct “better, and hopefully faster”
APPLIED SCIENCE The Sims instrument--which weighs about 620kg and sits on a “two-stage anti-vibration platform” and one tonne marble block--went into operation last summer, but Dowsett and several colleagues began working on the multi-million-euro project in 2012. While seed funding came from the National Research Fund (FNR), much of the work has been underwritten by Carl Zeiss, the German firm that manufactures the microscope. “One of our missions at List is, because we are an applied research centre, everything that we do should have some form of application, and should bring ideally some benefit to Luxembourg.” To that end, List and Carl Zeiss have signed an agreement to build and sell a similar machine to a research facility in Europe and another in the US. More deals could follow. Dowsett earned a PhD in physics at the University of Warwick and then joined List seven years ago. I asked him if he thought people in the Grand Duchy did not really know about the centre’s work. “I think that sadly is very true. One of the things that has been the most impressive that I found since I moved here is the quality of the laboratories here are absolutely amazing,” he
said. “And there are very few other places who would let you take these kinds of instruments and then maybe chop them in half and put something else in.” www.list.lu
Reported by AARON GRUNWALD
BELIEVING IN THE MARATHON We all know the old jokes about a priest, rabbi and minister who walk into a bar, but what really happens when religious leaders from different faiths get together? In Luxembourg, they run.
ince 2008, a local group called Interfaith has dedicated itself to bringing together representatives of the world’s major religions for an interreligious dialogue through the shared love of running. The group was started by two protestant ministers who simply enjoyed the sport and wanted to combine fellowship and exercise, but it quickly grew into a multifaith project that today includes priests from Scotland, sikhs from England, imams from the Netherlands, and even rabbis from Israel. Their goal, according to one of the group’s longtime committee members, Elke Murdock, is “to build a network for peace.” They do that by joining ordained ministers and official religious representatives, organising them into interreligious running teams, and connecting them to the local community. Every year, their members participate in various races across the continent, the highlight of which is the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg (this year’s is 28 May, www.ing-night-marathon.lu). As many members
travel to Luxembourg from other countries, the Interfaith organisers work with volunteers here to pair them up with host families for the weekend. These are typically members of local churches who are then invited to partake in all of the activities. As Interfaith averages 60 participants at the ING Night Marathon each year, the potential impact is huge, says Murdock, a researcher at the University of Luxembourg. Because one of the group’s aims is for people to learn through personal interaction, the weekend consists of different social events, such as shared meals, sightseeing tours and award ceremonies. They also invite a different faith group to host a reception for all of the members and host families. Last year, it was hosted by the archbishop of Luxembourg; this year it will be hosted by the local Muslim community. This way they have the ability to broaden the experience beyond just the religious leaders and create that shared conversation--from various perspectives--with the community as well. Murdock stresses, however, that Interfaith does not represent a particular church or political agenda. They simply act on the principle that different religions can work together for a common good, and there are two moments in particular of the ING Marathon weekend that really seem to capture what Interfaith is all about. May 2016
studies, according to Dowsett. He is currently working with a researcher at the University of Luxembourg, for example, on copper selenide solar cells. Some small portions of the cells are much more effective than others. But it is unknown if that is due to “the shape of the surface” or “if there’s a small variation in, say, the copper or the selenium or the tin concentration” that boosts performance. “And if they know that, they can design a fabrication process that makes the whole chip work as well as that one tiny section.” Other List researchers are examining nanoparticles, very small ingredients used in products “from toothpaste to ketchup”, to see if, when they enter the body, “they pass harmlessly through you or go into your cells.”
One of the most beautiful elements for Murdock is the interreligious team run. “When you see a Christian pass the baton to a Muslim,” she says, “the symbolism is very strong.” The other is the joint prayer for peace held just before the start of the marathon. A time she describes as being truly spiritual. In a world of conflict, these religious leaders are striving to build bridges between the different faiths, and there’s certainly nothing funny about that. www.interfaith.lu
Reported by STACY WEISS
HELP WHEN FOOD IS THE ENEMY A group provides free, specialised support for people facing eating disorders.
ating disorders may come in a variety of different guises. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder are just a few, but they all have one thing in common: the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to a 1995 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. According to a report by the Renfrew Center Foundation, part of a clinic in Philadelphia, up to 70m individuals worldwide are affected by an eating disorder at sometime during their lifetime. Whilst there are no precise figures currently available for Luxembourg, if the 70m figure was extrapolated, it would mean that approximately 8,000 people in the Grand Duchy have or will live with an eating disorder. “There is still a lot of stigmatism regarding eating disorders in society,” says Anna (like all the patients quoted in this article, it is not her real name). She has suffered from bulimia for much of her adult life. “Eating disorders are not about the desire to be thin and
many people still believe that these are diseases of vanity, which they are not. Sadly, for this reason, people often suffer in silence.” Whilst Luxembourg does provide generalist psychiatric care, there are currently no specialised inpatient facilities and no resident experts in the field within the Grand Duchy. The Caisse Nationale de Santé, the country’s main health insurance fund, may cover the cost of inpatient care in a specialist facility in an other EU member state, but each case is assessed individually and is not guaranteed. The CNS does not cover psychologist appointments in Luxembourg. “Sometimes, it is down to how knowledgeable your own doctor is,” states Sarah, a recovering anorexic.
“At one point I was 170cm tall and weighed only 40kg, but I was told by my doctor that this was fine. Evidently it would be beneficial if medical professionals in Luxembourg had a clear understanding of what constitutes an eating disorder.” Luxembourg may not have any specialist care for those affected, but the local branch of Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous provides individuals with a free support network for anyone who wishes to recover healthy eating practices. “There are no fees at ABA,” explains Florence, who helps to coordinate the group. “Nor are we affiliated with any other organisation, institution or religion. It is a completely confidential group open to anyone who wants to recover.” ABA was founded in Alberta, Canada, in 1993 by three women. They took the same, twelve-step programme used by Alcoholics Anonymous and adapted it to address the specific mental, emotional and spiritual components of eating disorders. “Many people who identify themselves with an eating disorder have found recovery through the programme.” For Florence, the group has been key to her own recovery. “The most important thing I learnt in ABA from the beginning is that I am not alone and that there is hope. The suggestion we make to newcomers after the meeting is to keep coming back.” Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous Luxembourg meets every Friday evening. Meetings are held in English, but translation in French and German is available. Info: +352 691 540 084 www.aba12steps.org
Reported by ALIX RASSEL
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I LEARNT IN ABA… IS THAT I AM NOT ALONE AND THAT THERE IS HOPE." FLORENCE
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HE’S GOT A TICKET TO RIDE G
rowing up in Montego Bay, in Jamaica, Matthew Harris was sure of one thing: he wanted to become an entrepreneur like both of his parents. Today Mateo New York, his fine jewellery company, is as hot as it can get, stocked at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, featured in all the hip fashion magazines, and worn by celebrities from David Beckham (in a recent GQ photo) to Chelsea Clinton (on the cover of Elle). A bit surprisingly, the designer recently moved to Luxembourg and now manages his New York brand from here. “Love brought me here,” he says. “I met my partner, who lives in Luxembourg, on vacation in Barcelona and the rest is history. I’d of course heard of the Grand Duchy but it wasn’t one I’d ever thought of even visiting. It was a hard decision to leave the US where my business is established, but it’s the 21st century and work can still be done, via emails, Skype calls and so on. Mateo will always truly be a New York brand to its core. But I also feel a bit of a European touch can only further refine it. The hardest part of managing the brand from Luxembourg is maintaining relationships and being in the mix of the fashion and art scene. But I try my best to go to New York once a month. I believe my presence is important for the survival of the business at this point.” Harris had not yet turned 17 when he finished his Anglican all boys high school in Jamaica and was accepted to several US universities. He chose Southern New Hampshire--“far from Jamaica”--and did his first degree in hospitality management. “I went on May 2016
to do my master’s degree, but I wasn’t happy with my path and midway through its completion I had a breakthrough. One day on the bus, I was reading a book entitled Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. A complete stranger sitting next to me grabbed the book and handed me another one called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He said: ‘Read it, it will change your life.’ This bus experience was one of the strangest moments I have ever had. Nonetheless, the book did indeed change my life. I moved to New York, still not knowing the plan but I knew something was going to happen.” The young man started working at a jewellery boutique, using his background in marketing and sales to expand the brand, and soon after started his own successful consulting business for small jewellery designers. “In 2009, after two years of dealing with the personality of designers, I
decided to start my own jewellery company. I was 24 years old at the time. The book Think and Grow Rich speaks about that burning desire and at this point jewellery making was mine. I was obsessed by it and saw inspiration everywhere. The first piece I made was a fully functional zipper necklace. Rihanna wore it and everything just rolled from there,” he says. At some point the plan is also to open the brand’s own stores. In the meantime, Mateo New York might soon be available in the Grand Duchy too. “I’d love to settle in properly in Luxembourg and for the brand to be sold here. I have my eye on few boutiques that I feel could be a right fit.” www.mateonewyork.com
Reported by NEEL CHRILLESEN
SEXIST OR FEMINIST? A Design Friends talk in March by a Belgian lingerie designer sparked outrage among local women’s rights groups.
mong the many memorable scenes from the mockumentary Spinal Tap there is a moment when not so bright guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by the great Christopher Guest) confuses “sexist” with “sexy”. His confusion is born of male ignorance, of poor education at a time when the media and advertising was littered with sexist imagery; a time when women did not have much of a voice in the media. Much has changed since, even though sexism is still clearly prevalent
in the music and film industries, and in advertising imagery. Indeed, local feminist groups held a march on International Women’s Day, 8 March, to raise awareness of the lingering culture of sexist imagery and to call for more respect and diversity in how women are portrayed in the media. But two days later they were up in arms over a talk held by lingerie designer Murielle Scherre at Mudam. Scherre was the guest of Design Friends and was asked to talk about her label La Fille d’O. Her designs not only marry sexuality and feminism, they also are made specifically with real body shapes in mind and even include special pieces for women who have undergone a mastectomy.
Mateo New York
Mateo New York fine jewellery came to life in the city that never sleeps, but stays on top from the Grand Duchy.
Reported by DUNCAN ROBERTS
Born 26 November 1960 in Diekirch Education Physical education at Université de Louvainla-Neuve, Belgium Career Until 1999: physical education teacher in Luxembourg lycées. 1999: elected to the European Parliament as a Green Party representative. Since 2002: vice president of the Green/ALE group at the European Parliament. 2008 & 2012: MEP of the year in the annual awards voted by fellow members of the European Parliament. Hobbies Yoga (teacher), reading and jogging.
" ON WHICH PLANET DO #WTO FREE-TRADE MANIACS LIVE? DEFINITELY NOT ON THE ONE WORRYINGLY WARMING UP!" Luxembourg’s Green representative at the European Parliament has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working MEPs in Brussels and Strasbourg. A former physical education teacher who has always been interested in environmental issues, Claude Turmes has been a member of the European Parliament for the Green party since 1999. His passion and hard work as an MEP earned him the name “Superturmes” in the Luxembourg satirical weekly Den Neie Feierkrop. His website even features a couple of cartoon strips with the Superturmes character saving the planet from the interests of lobby groups or rescuing a child from a cuddly toy laced with toxins. His activism began when he joined the Mouvement Écologique environmental lobby group, and later was elected vice president of the Les Amis de la Terre NGO in Brussels.
He is now vice president of the Green group at the European Parliament and has special interest in energy policy as well as research, transparency at the parliament and European relations with the United States. Active on social media, he recently tweeted about a speech he made to a House of Commons committee in the UK Parliament “to explain the absurdity of the ‘toaster-gate’ and promote North Sea cooperation.” Indeed, according to EU policy watchdog EurActory, Turmes is the fifth most influential person on EU energy policy. He has also twice been voted an MEP of the year--in 2008 and 2012--by his peers in the Strasbourg plenary. May 2016
Illustration by Jan Hanrion
But the Centre d’Information et de Documentation des Femmes (CidFemmes) was having none of it. The group accused Design Friends, Mudam and Paperjam (Delano’s sister publication, which carried an interview with Scherre) of “outraging and insulting” them. Design Friends should be relabelled “Sexism Friends”, a statement on the group’s Facebook page read. They dismissed any claims Scherre made that her designs were about female empowerment and said instead that the photos on her website were “simply pornochic”. They argued that her work was a fine example of what they call a “neofeminist approach”, which seems to advocate self-determination and sexual freedom for women, but which sees them only as consumers, at best, and, fundamentally, as a mass of flesh to be modelled. But Scherre has made clear that her lingerie is about accepting different body types--for instance the brand’s sizes do not follow the big traditional brands but reflect the different physiology of the women who wear the lingerie. She says some aspects of her work are about recognising sexuality and spirituality and the fact that every woman has different needs with their partner. What’s more, La Fille d’O is unique in that Scherre makes ethical, organic and sustainable lingerie using Belgian manufacturing skills and materials sourced in Europe. One attendee of the Design Friends talk called Scherre’s presentation “beautiful, inspiring, interesting, convincing!”. Upon hearing about the Cid-Femmes complaints, reaction was swift. Scherre’s supporters argued that it was the victory of feminism that enabled women like her to design and talk about lingerie, and that her healthy attitude towards the female body was necessary in a world of fakes. It seems that there are plenty of women out there who feel they can be sexy and also be feminists--a message that will shock some women’s rights groups as much as it would the fictitious Nigel Tufnel.
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
IMPROVING THE DAILY COMMUTE Minister for sustainable development François Bausch talks about the introduction of fixed speed cameras, encouraging the use of public transport and cycling, and what he thinks of Uber.
POOR SAFETY RECORD Indeed, recent statistics from the European Union show that Luxembourg is “anything but a model pupil” in terms of road safety, says the minister. Luxembourg was among the top third in a league table of May 2016
he backlash against the introduction for the first time of fixed speed cameras at ten locations in Luxembourg was swift, and at times vicious. More than 40,000 drivers were caught speeding in the first four weeks of the cameras becoming operational in March, leading to complaints from drivers in the press and even parliamentary questions from two opposition CSV deputies. They suggested that the cameras were calibrated too strictly, allowing too little leeway for drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 4km/h. However, in an interview with Delano, François Bausch, the minister for sustainable development and infrastructure, says that the speed cameras are already proving their worth. “When the radars were introduced, in France, for example, driving speeds were reduced relatively quickly. We have already experienced the same phenomenon here in Luxembourg,” Bausch says. “I think the number of people being caught on camera will drop quite rapidly as drivers adapt to the new circumstances.” The aim of the exercise, after all, is to reduce the number of vehicles driving at excessive speed, because that was the number one cause of accidents in Luxembourg.
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traffic accidents and, in 2013, when 45 people lost their lives, it was the country with the second poorest record in road safety behind Romania. “Something had to be done. And it was clear, looking at the statistics, that those countries that had long installed radars, like the Netherlands and Sweden, had a far, far better road safety record than us--they suffered only half as many fatalities or serious casualties as Luxembourg.” Radars should be seen as part of a whole package of preventative measures that the government is taking, says Bausch. “Despite an awareness campaign spread over eight months before the radars were operational--a massive campaign that almost got on your nerves--people only reacted once the radars were in place.” But Bausch also stresses that those voicing their opposition are in a minority. He cites a recent example of a mobile radar check point in Dippach that found only around 250 of some 1,600 vehicles were driving at excessive speed. “The good news is that over 80% of drivers were complying with the speed limit, even though they didn’t know there was a radar.” In addition to encouraging drivers to be more safety conscious, Bausch also wants to change attitudes to commuting. The government has set out targets for a nationwide split between public and private transport of 25%-75%. Current public transport usage across the country is around 13%. “To achieve this we have to drastically increase public transport use in the commuter belt, which is why the target for the capital city is for a 40%-60% split.” That may seem ambitious, but Bausch thinks it is realistic given the huge investments the government is making to increase and improve public transport services, including Park & Ride facilities, as May 2016
BETTER AND SAFER A. François Bausch says speed cameras are needed as part of a package of preventative measures to improve road safety B. Cycle lanes are being built along the entire length of the new tram track through Luxembourg City
well as encouraging so-called soft mobility (cycling and walking) by improving infrastructure. As the former deputy mayor of Luxembourg in charge of mobility, and a keen cyclist himself, Bausch is encouraged by the efforts being made by the Ville de Luxembourg (under his successor, Green Party deputy mayor Sam Tanson), to invest in cycling infrastructure. At government level, Bausch has also introduced the so-called “cycle path” legislation that will provide state support for Luxembourg City, Ettelbruck-Diekirch and Esch-Belval to build transversal cycle lanes. In addition, cycle lanes are being built on both sides along the entire length of the tram track in the capital city. “When it is finished, there will be a serious, separate cycle lane from the Luxexpo, across the Red Bridge, all the way to Cloche d’Or.” The minister has also launched new soft mobility departments in his ministry and at the roads and bridges administration, and has introduced
legislation that requires cycle lanes to be included in the planning of any new roads built by the administration. “That will avoid having to adapt and remodel roads later.”
NO UBER PROBLEM Another bugbear for many residents and visitors to Luxembourg is the cost of taking a taxi. Would Bausch be opposed to Uber setting up shop in Luxembourg? “No, that wouldn’t be a problem. My only concern is that Uber would have to comply with Luxembourg’s social security laws, and also pay its taxes. The social conditions have been a problem in a number of countries--not everywhere, there are some countries that work well together with Uber. But other than that, I think the Uber system is a really good thing--I have tested it in a few places and I think the service is extremely customer-friendly. So I think such a system, using taxis, could provide an important complement to the mobility chain.”
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Photography by SVEN BECKER
HUNT FOR A PERFECT PÉCKVILLCHEN
EMAISCHEN, 12:25 P.M. The day after Easter, stalls line the area around the place du Marché-aux-Poissons In Luxembourg city (and also in the village of Nospelt) for the traditional celebration of Emaischen (Emmaus Monday). It is a chance to buy Péckvillercher, whistles made out of clay and shaped like a little bird, for children. “I had one, everyone had one at home,” Delano’s photographer, Sven Becker, recalls of his youth. This Emaischen was a bit rainy; just out of this frame, market-goers were eating fried snacks and popcorn under shop awnings and in doorways, while waiting for a break in the weather. It was also quite windy, forcing stallholders to keep an extra eye out for objects flying away from their stands. Becker also kept an extra eye out… but in his case it was to avoid getting hit in the face with a careless holder of an umbrella. People, he observes, often don’t pay attention to their brollies in crowded spaces. AG May 2016
MINNESOTA BILL WOULD RAISE LUXEMBOURG FIRMS’ TAXES
Companies based in the Grand Duchy would be taxed at the same rates as American firms, in the US state of Minnesota, starting this year, if a proposal in that state’s legislature is passed as written. The measure would redefine businesses based in dozens of “tax havens” as “domestic” outfits. Luxembourg’s corporate income tax rate is 29.22%, according to the advisory firm KPMG, compared to the US average of 40%. The bill, SF 3318, was introduced to the state’s senate last month by John Marty and Kevin L. Dahle of the
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Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the state’s affiliate of the Democratic Party). Luxembourg was one of 46 tax havens identified in the bill. The Grand Duchy and other jurisdictions could only get off the state’s watchlist by signing an agreement with US authorities in Washington. A representative of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce told the Bloomberg BNA news service that the bill was unlikely to pass this year. The bill’s fine print is explained on www.delano.lu (search for “Minnesota”).
The European Commission proposed allowing EU member states to apply their country’s lowest VAT rate on e-books, in addition to physical books. Last year, Brussels forced Luxembourg to increase its rates from 3% to 17%, saying e-books were “electronic services” and not actually books.
Luxembourg ranked 66th out of 133 cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Worldwide cost of living survey”. >>> 14% of employees (and 30% of those 16-24) experienced workplace bullying in 2015, the Luxembourg Chamber of Employees (CSL) found. >>> “Moody’s expects growth across the euro area to be around 1.5% of GDP in 2016,” the credit rating agency forecasts. >>> Prices rose 0.47% last year, said the economy ministry, more than in neighbouring Germany and France, but Belgium’s inflation rate was a third higher. >>> The capital issued 1,282 building permits last year, up from 1,128 in 2014, the City of Luxembourg said. >>> The economy ministry unveiled the Luxembourg Automotive Campus, a research and development hub near the Goodyear test track. >>> The Grand Duchy joined Singapore, Switzerland and the US in opening an inquiry into alleged money laundering at the Malaysian sovereign investment fund 1MDB. >>> The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media published an investigation into the “Panama Papers” (panamapapers.icij.org), documents leaked from a law firm specialised in offshore financial structures. >>> After slipping into the red last year, the steelmaker ArcelorMittal floated about $3bn in new shares to pay down debt; the offering was oversubscribed.
Jim Ellwanger (CC BY-NC 2.0) European Commission Jessica Theis (archives)
4TH HIGHEST LABOUR COSTS
Luxembourg had the fourth highest average total hourly labour costs in the EU last year, according to the EU’s official statistics bureau. Eurostat said that an hour of work cost employers in the Grand Duchy €36.20 in 2015. That is less than the figure found in Denmark (€41.30 per hour), Belgium (€39.10) and Sweden (€37.40), but higher than in France (€35.10), the Netherlands (€34.10) and Finland (€33). The lowest rates were recorded in Lithuania (€6.80), Romania (€5) and Bulgaria (€4.10). The figures covered wages and benefits, as well as employers’ social insurance contributions, minus any government subsidies. Only firms with ten or more employees were included; the agriculture and public sectors were not tallied.
Dean Morley (CC BY-ND 2.0)
CARGOLUX PROFITS CLIMB
Luxembourg’s freight airline boosted its profitability by a wide margin, despite somewhat rocky labour relations, last year. Cargolux posted a net profit of $49m for 2015, up from $3m in 2014 and $8m in 2013. A three-year collective work agreement was only agreed in December, following 18 months of on-and-off negotiations.
PRINCE MOTIANI CATCHING UP WITH…
The president of Green Heart Toastmasters is hoping to live until 2096. Affectionately referred to by many as “My Royal Highness”, Prince Motiani blames his mother for his rather inventive first name; no doubt a surefire way of securing a great restaurant table. Born in Bombay (now Mumbai), he moved to Luxembourg back in the 1980s. “What brings most people to Luxembourg? Money and work,” he muses. As the only French speaking employee, he was hired to head up the operations and administrational division of an import/export company and has never looked back. So how did this enormously charming and eloquent chap become involved with the Toastmasters? “I was part of a creative writing club in 2005 and my reading skills were abominable,” he explains. “I could not read aloud without stumbling over my words, so I joined the Toastmasters where I sat in a corner for the first three meetings without speaking; I was so shy.” Slowly but surely, Motiani began to open up thanks to the support of his mentors, “and now most of the members find it difficult to shut me up,” he laughs. He loves the philosophy behind the club and clearly he is not alone. Green Heart Toastmasters celebrated 20 years in Luxembourg in February and are now stronger than ever. “We have two aims: acquiring members who will master the skill of public speaking thanks to knowledge-transfer from longstanding members, and bringing these new members to positions of leadership. We’d like them to dedicate some of their time to running the club and to taking it forward.” When asked about the highs he has experienced, Motiani cites his year of presidency as being particularly gratifying. “After ten years of membership, we’ve been able to take the club to another level and I’d really like to acknowledge the creativity and hard work of Caylea Young and Marie-Hélène Trouillez. Together, we’ve managed to enhance club performance and to increase membership by almost 40% in 8 months.” And what does he see himself doing in five years’ time? “Oh boy! I’d love to continue serving the club in some form and to keep learning from fellow members. I’d like to share some of the knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years and to be respected for what we’ve achieved today. And living until 2096 will allow me to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary!” www.tmclub.eu Text by WENDY CASEY Photography by LALA LA PHOTO May 2016
Text by STEPHEN EVANS
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
ARE WE ALL LIKE MILLENNIALS?
ech savvy, but strapped for cash: this is a standard view of the millennial generation. So how to get them saving, let alone investing? Millennials love their mobile phones and tablets, so IT-based tools would seem to be an obvious way in. Providing “information” doesn’t seem to work, however. “There is an increasing amount of information available, but there is too much and this complexity leaves us with the same knowledge gap as before the internet,” said Julian Presber of the University of Luxembourg during the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry’s Spring Conference. So-called “robo advisors” are becoming increasingly popular with investors unwilling to pay for personal financial advice. Plug your age, income, risk appetite and investment goals into a website, and an algorithm will point you towards a suite of products that might suit you. But are millennials much different from Generation X and baby boomers? Less than 10% of Europeans own shares directly or through funds. And don’t we all love our mobiles?
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FINTECH A. Julian Presber (centre) speaks during the “Millennials” panel at the Alfi Spring Conference (www. alfi.lu) in March B. Niklas Vesterlund C. Corinna Goldkuhle, Alexander Fisher and Martin Reinhard D. Carsten Brengel and Michael Löb E. Hugh Byrne, Nicolas Xanthopoulos and James Wright F. Joanna DeclercqZelechnowska, Asma Al Zarooni, Abdullah Al Obaidly and Mohammed Basyouni G. Eva Brauckmann, Jean-Pierre Mernier, Belinda Henig and Julia Laux-Brauckmann H. Kavitha Ramachandran and Anouk Agnes I. Pierre Beck and Jean-Michel Loehr
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ARE "GOOD" FUNDS GOING MAINSTREAM? Some funds want to help make the world a better place, while still turning a tidy profit. The concept seems to be slowlybut-surely catching on.
here are signs that so-called responsible investment (RI) funds are becoming more popular, and new dimensions are being added to this notion. Have these products become mainstream? Most investors want to back ethically motivated companies. Institutions want to protect their reputations and individuals want a warm glow from doing the right thing to accompany a decent financial return. Moreover, the industry is convinced that young people (the investors of tomorrow) are particularly keen. Yet as every individual has their own nuanced idea of morality, designing these products is tricky (see box on page 32). Getting it wrong opens investors and asset managers to the potential risk of appearing hypocritical.
MORE TRANSPARENCY Labelling is helping. Luxembourg’s labelling agency Luxflag uses relatively strict criteria when classifying funds. “Applications are assessed by independent third-party eligibility committees composed of industry experts, academicians and analysts,” explained Annemarie Arens, Luxflag’s general manager. Their stringent procedures mean relatively few funds qualify. A total of 45 funds with nearly $12bn assets carried a Luxflag label in April, a relatively small amount given the €35 trillion currently invested in all funds worldwide. Contrast this with the fund data company Morningstar, which has recently decided to give a sustainability ranking to around 20,000 funds. Other moves are afoot, with the financial data firm MSCI also planning a label, the germanophone May 2016
JANE WILKINSON Even passive fund firms have started doing basic “ESG” screening
sustainable investment forum FNG introduced a label last year, and the French government is considering action too. Some industry players hope that the EU might act to bring more standardisation, others warn this might prove too complicated given how definitions of responsible business vary. “This trend towards more labelling is a good development,” Philippe Zaouati, CEO of the RI asset managers Mirova, told the recent Alfi Spring Conference panel on RI funds. “Transparency, simplicity and flexibility are central,” he said, “however
there are concerns about Morningstar’s methodology which could potentially create strange results.”
ACTIVISM BY FUNDS The Montreal Carbon Pledge is an example of the asset management industry seeking to be seen to doing the right thing. It asks investors to commit to measuring and publicly disclosing the carbon footprint of their portfolios on an annual basis. Launched in 2014, the organisers claim it has attracted commitment from over 120 investors with over $10 trillion assets under management.
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doubled to €372bn in the five years to 2014, said a 2015 Alfi/KPMG survey. Yet that only represented just over 3% of all fund assets in Europe. Advocates suggest these figures underestimate the change that is taking place. “Companies that have taken a passive stance to responsible investing over recent years are becoming more activist, while those who had been doing little or nothing are now carrying out basic ESG screening,” argued Wilkinson. Having strong checks on governance can alert investors to deep-seated and as yet unrevealed problems. “We had excluded Volkswagen from our ‘best in class’ category for equity funds,” Frédéric Surry, head of equities and convertibles at BNP Paribas Investment Partners told the Alfi Conference. “We did this because we were concerned over the high number of recalls and governance issues at Porsche/VW, but the full scale of the scandal was not predictable,” he added.
This move will help nudge people towards greener investment choices, but there are concerns about how to measure something as literally cloudy as a carbon footprint. “Active ownership” is a growing dimension. RI funds traditionally limit themselves to investing in assets which meet certain criteria, but activist funds are increasingly trying to reform company behaviour towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) questions. Given that institutional investors are often major company shareholders, they have substantial power.” Large asset May 2016
managers in general are showing growing activism in enhancing their corporate governance policies, reporting on non-financial outcomes and using ESG screening as a risk management tool,” noted Arens. Jane Wilkinson, a partner at KPMG Luxembourg, agreed: “The most activist are establishing teams and working with other investors to push certain ESG issues up the agenda.”
3% OF FUND ASSETS However you want to define it, responsible investing is a growing trend. European RI fund assets almost
WHAT ABOUT RETURNS? A warm glow is all well and good, but there are concerns that RI funds perform less well than traditional funds. “We conducted a study with the University of Maastricht that found a mixed picture when it came to returns for ESG funds,” noted Stan Beckers, CEO of NN Investment Partners. Zaouati suggested, however, that non-financial outcomes need considering when making an assessment. “No doubt asset managers can find 50 or 60 securities with a good ESG story and good prospects for growth,” he suggested. As with all investing, there are no quick routes to getting exactly the ideal ethical stance you might want, but more information should raise awareness and help guide choices. RI and ESG will be on the agenda during Alfi’s Impact Investing Conference on Thursday 12 May. www.alfi.lu
ANNEMARIE ARENS Bigger money managers are taking a more “activist” approach to corporate governance
WHAT IS A RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT STRATEGY? You wouldn’t expect an environmentfocused fund to invest in companies that make most of their earning from oil drilling. Even if the energy company also invested heavily in green energy production, this would still be off-limits. Yet should the oil company take the “blame” for the greenhouse gases created by their clients? For example, air ambulance companies provide an important social service and thus would be a prime candidate for a responsible investment portfolio. But these services come at the cost of higher than average carbon emissions. If you look hard enough, it is possible to argue that almost every business is ethical, or that almost none are. Hence the complexity of designing one-size-fitsall responsible investing funds and fund labels.
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HELPING STARTUPS GET SHIPSHAPE The “Fit for Start” initiative offers advice and cash to boost entrepreneurs and their growth plans.
fter a fruitful pilot round, Luxin novation, a government-backed R&D promotion agency, has just welcomed five new tech startups to its intensive business coaching programme, Fit for Start. The programme offers 16 weeks of coaching and training in the Lean Startup method (popular in Silicon Valley), free access to the Technoport co-working space in Belval, and a grant of €50,000 to companies that successfully graduate. The closing event for the first round in March featured a surprise an nouncement from Francine Closener, the secretary of state for the economy, who said that her ministry would grant an additional €100,000 to all startups that successfully complete the programme and are able to raise €50,000 in private investment, making Fit for Start even more helpful for early-stage startups.
SEED FUNDING “This kind of financial aid is a big game-changer. It’s a great move by the government,” says Gilles Mangen of Sport50, one of the two startups that completed the pilot programme. Sport50 was founded in 2014 with the idea of creating an online platform to help amateur sports clubs improve their marketing and find more spon sorship by automating tasks. Within a few months of testing the platform in Luxembourg, the company already had its first customers but was facing limits in scalability and market. The intensive coaching schedule of Fit for Start quickly paid off, allowing them to change their business model from subscription to freemium, adjust their user interface, and narrow down their target customers. “We didn’t May 2016
A. MATTI HEIKKILA AND KEVIN COLGAN The two cofounders of Houser shifted from a B2C to a B2B focus following their time in the first Fit for Start programme B. VINCENT PEDRINI The initiative is helping him and his Nomoko cofounders map out their next steps
expect major business model changes, but it happened and we’re happy,” says Mangen. The team, which grew from two to seven during the pro gramme, is now ready to launch their product in Germany, with their sights also set on Austria, Belgium and France in the medium term. Houser, the other startup to success fully graduate the pilot edition, also fundamentally changed their business model. “We came in with a B2C model and pivoted,” says Matti Heikkila, one of the two co-founders. The company first launched with houser.lu, an online platform that provides real estate an alytics for buyers and renters. But
through Fit for Start, Houser switched to a B2B model targeting real estate agents. “Agents only know their prop erties, not what’s going on in the market. We’ll work with them to create trans parency and make the market much more efficient for buyers and sellers,” explains Heikkila. He credits their development to the individual feedback obtained through the programme. “The most valuable aspects were the coaching and interfacing with the jury members. You would have your ideas challenged and need rational answers,” he says. With the newly launched spring edition, Antoine Hron, Fit for Start’s
A QUICK LOOK
FIT FOR START B
programme manager, wants to improve in several areas: “The startups felt they had to wait too long for some important theory points, so we now plan to ag gregate the theory in the first two months, and in the last two put the focus on hands-on coaching,” says Hron. A third coach has also been added to the team. “We found that a missing point in the pilot edition was a focus on the financial aspects, so a new coach has been recruited for this.” The new edition, running from April to July, attracted the attention of startups far beyond Luxembourg. “We received 100 applications, with 80% coming from the Greater Region,
but also some from the UK and even Turkey and India,” states Hron, who was impressed with the overall quality. “We preselected 20 but could have chosen 30,” he adds. The 20 were then asked to pitch in front of the Fit for Start jury members, made up of experienced local entrepreneurs and financial experts (see box on right). Based on criteria including business potential, scalability and market differentiation, five innovative tech projects from around Europe, including two from Luxembourg, were invited to join the programme: Klap, Nomoko, Connected Rope, Evvos and Visual Scaffolding.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS The new participants are looking forward to the many opportunities that the four months will offer. Klap, from Paris, have planned the launch of their first product to coincide with the Fit for Start programme. The team of seven have developed an iPhone app that instantly turns users’ video into a movie perfectly synchro nised to music. The company hopes to use the coaching offered in the programme to guide its beta testing and narrow down its target market.
“Talking to someone outside of the company with a strong mindset and previous experience is very valuable,” says Olivier Chatillon, one of Klap’s co-founders. Nomoko, from Zurich, which is developing high resolution camera technology to create realistic 3D content for the entertainment industry as well as models of cities, already has its to-do list defined. “We want to develop re search links with the university, define the profiles of the R&D staff we need and then recruit these new team members,” says co-founder Vincent Pedrini. With two of the three founders originally from the Grand Duchy, the company is well aware of what the country can offer them. “Luxembourg has the ICT infrastructure we need in terms of security levels and data centres, as well as being the centre of the EU,” says Pedrini. While the new participants are settling into the programme, Hron is already thinking about how to go even further for future editions, mulling over potential partnerships with relevant organisations in Luxembourg and internationally. His ultimate goal? “To become a one-stop programme for promising startups.”
What is it A four-month business funding and coaching programme for early-stage innovative tech startups, held twice a year Who can apply Any startup less than 12 months old with a team of two or more people What do you get €50K to spend over the programme, and another €100K on graduation, access to Technoport’s co-working space, training in the Lean Startup method and regular coaching sessions Jury members Marco Houwen, managing partner of BHS Services, Nicolas Henckes, secretary general of UEL, Robert Glaesener, CEO of Trendiction, Jérôme Wittamer, founding partner of Expon Capital, and Nicolas Buck, CEO of Seqvoia Next call for applications Summer 2016 May 2016
Text by KASIA KRZYZANOWSKI
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
WINNING THE GAME OF CODE
ome came to test an idea, some to keep their skills sharp, during Luxembourg’s first-ever Hackathon. In teams of three or four, participants had to develop an original web application for one of two categories: Docler Holding’s artificial intelligence or Digital Lëtzebuerg’s mobility open data challenge. For Miklos Boros, part of a Hungarian team of developers from Docler Holding, “the biggest challenge was to have an idea of what to build.” His team only came up with their Robot Football idea once the clock had started counting down. Other teams came up with a concept in advance, such as the Coder Dojo team, who were all 12 years old. “We had several weeks of preparation,” said Linnea Cadogan. “As we knew it was not for amateurs but professionals.” Many of the participants enjoyed the novelty of the time-limited creative challenge. “Ordinarily, we work on long-term projects,” said Émile Kroeger, a Paris-based game designer on the Aldebaran team. “It’s the opposite to be doing something crazy like this.”
HACKATHON A. Around 130 developers participated in the Game of Code, held in April at the Geesseknäppchen Forum. Organisers have announced a 2017 edition (www. gameofcode.eu) B. Gabriel, Ferenc and Miklos, the New Folder team C. Patrice, Julien, Cédric and Florian, the ING team, who won second prize for their wellness app D. Élise, Émile and Gaël, the Aldebaran team, with Pepper, the songcomposing robot E. Gaël, Nicolas, Tudor and Thomas, the Etix Kru team, who were honoured for their e-learning app EduCity F. Christophe Atten, Gary Cornelius, Christof Torres and Angelo Migliosi, students at the University of Luxembourg and the Devnull team G. Baptiste, Lucas, Vincent and Corentin, the Adneom student team H. Linnea, Daria and Henri of the Coder Dojo team, who won fourth prize in the open data challenge for creating www. pick-a-poop.dog
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Text by STEPHEN EVANS
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RISING PROPERTY PRICES It is a complicated business getting homes built in this country, and this reality is unlikely to change.
emand for homes in the Grand Duchy has outstripped supply for decades, and prices rose gradually. However, after the economic crisis, the population has boomed and prices have risen at over 4.5% per year since 2009 (see page 44). 25 years ago, people on average incomes could afford a good sized home not far from the capital. Now only those with high salaries can think of borrowing the near €1m that is often needed. Reacting quickly to this change has been difficult. The main reason is Luxembourg’s fiendishly complex planning laws that seem to invite delay. Most emblematic is how just two apartment owners prevented 49 boulevard Royal being knocked down to be incorporated into the Royal-Hamilius project. Their legal right to stay put has delayed this landmark development by many months, and jacked up the cost. “There is a multiple stage planning process,” explained Vincent Bechet, managing director of the real estate agency Inowai Group and president of the Real Estate Association of Luxembourg (Luxreal). “In this you have to talk to the town architects, the roads department, the fire brigade and many more, and sometimes the administration for national monuments, water and forests and so on and so on.” Interested parties have the right to intervene throughout the process, adding layers of complexity. Demand is increasing as the population grows at an astonishing rate. In the 1990s, there were about 5,500 more people living here each year, the annual average increase was near 7,000 in the 2000s, and so far this decade the figure is 12,350. There May 2016
are many reasons for Luxembourg’s increasing attractiveness. Most simply, people are coming to work from parts of Europe still hit by the crisis. Also, international moves to end “letterbox companies” mean firms can no longer be based in Luxembourg for tax purposes without employing people here. Hundreds of these firms are hiring. There are also tax exiles moving their homes to Luxembourg.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND With demand rising, the supply of homes is struggling to keep pace. The national statistics office Statec reported that building permits for 3,500 individual residences were issued per year on average in the 1990s, 3,800 in the 2000s, and 4,400 in the 2010s. There was an all time national record in 2014 at 6,360, and Luxembourg City announced that they had issued more permits than ever in 2015. Of course many of these homes replace existing constructions, so this is not a net increase in housing supply. The average household is about two and a half people living in each home. So if the population is to continue at rates seen this decade this implies the need for 5,000 new homes per year. The average so far this decade is 600 less than this, even though the latest figures for permits suggest that the market might be catching up with demand. If so, prices could start to stabilise when these properties come on stream. “If you add all the projects PERSONAL currently under way in LuxemBUSINESS bourg City there would be 5001,000 new homes per year over the next five years,” Bechet stated. “We are afraid that is not sufficient to overcome the gap, but it will be MARC HANSEN enough to respond to market demand. Taller buildings could boost housing I expect prices to remain at least firm supplies in parts of in the capital.” Of course this will the capital
depend on current trends continuing, and no one can know where the European economy will go next.
POLITICAL AGENDA Housing has not been a major political issue in this country until quite recently. In Luxembourg and the rest of the
" WE ARE CONSIDERING RECLASSIFYING SOME LAND AS BUILDING LAND." May 2016
"YOU CAN’T BLAME PEOPLE FOR NOT WANTING TO SELL." MARC LIES Local councils need more technical support
world, property owners generally don’t like the noise, dirt and disruption that accompany neighbourhood building projects. And often voters don’t want building in anyone’s “back yard” either if this would lower the price of their home. In a democracy, the politicians are there to carry out the will of the people. “Aren’t most voters quite happy to see property prices rise?” Delano asked the housing minister, Marc Hansen. “Of course that exists, and everyone knows about it,” he replied. A symbol of the historical lack of importance of the topic is that in the 2013 coalition government programme, housing featured three-quarters of the way through the 204 page document, just after the section on sport. It stated that the “government’s first objective will be to control the evolution of prices in the real estate market and increase the supply of
homes and building land.” As well as having this vague, unambitious mission statement, the housing ministry appeared to lack direction under the troubled leadership of Maggy Nagel. She was removed last December, and replaced by Hansen.
BUILDING HIGHER In his first few months in post, Hansen has made a series of statements that suggest a willingness to take firm action to tackle the question, not least because it has recently risen up the political agenda. “We need to work so that the people without the necessary funds can get a decent place to live,” he said. “We have to think about increasing urban density and the height of residential buildings because available land is limited,” he added. The Kirchberg now has some quite tall office buildings, up to 29 stories for the Court of Justice
of the European Union, but residential blocks are rarely over four or five floors high. “We have to handle this in the correct way and build higher where possible, in places where it suits like the Kirchberg, and not, of course, in the countryside,” he added. Quality is also important for him. “When you mention tall buildings, people can tend to think about unsuccessful schemes from 30 or 40 years ago,” he said, “so we have to work with architects to develop projects that are appropriate for the urban environment and have a good mix of buildings and uses.” He underlined that there is no thought of turning Luxembourg into a big city, but that well designed towers could be a quicker way to ease price pressure. Even adding a couple of floors to planned five story buildings would help. Luxembourg housing ministers have not needed to talk in this way before, but the situation is becoming uncomfortable. The Chambre des Métiers (Chamber of Trades) commented that prices are having an impact on “the functioning of several businesses” and would “impact the country’s competitiveness” and could lead to “a downgrade of quality of life”. They blamed both “mentalities” and “practices” for the price spike, and Hansen appears ready to address both. Will it happen? “The Luxembourg City commune is open to discussing this more deeply, and we will also need to talk to other interested parties,” he commented. What about the money for infrastructure? “Rules are in place about who would pay what,” he said. Is public opinion open to well planned projects? “We have to get people used to the idea, but I don’t think people are resistant to seeing Luxembourg City grow, not forgetting the brownfield sites around the country.” The state has sufficient land, so other than the tortuous planning process, there would seem to be nothing holding the country back from stepping up its building programme. Sharply rising house prices are a problem, but so would be a large drop which would leave banks and
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VINCENT BECHET The planning process involves many stakeholders
families exposed to paying off a housing loan worth more than the house itself. Hence the government needs to avoid flooding the market, and also needs to keep an eye out of economic shocks which would make the country less attractive as a destination for migrants. Hansen suggests he would prefer state funded accommodation to concentrate on boosting the rental sector rather than providing properties for sale. This policy would give the government the ability to help lower income families long term, and also give some flexibility to adjust the housing stock to future conditions. As well as the state just buying land and building on it, Hansen is in favour May 2016
of encouraging a range of instruments that would make marginal improvements. “We are considering reclassifying some land as building land, but we would only do this if the owners were bound to build new homes over, say, a three to six year period,” he said.
PRIVATE LANDOWNERS There is also a proposal to encourage private landowners to sell for development. The government estimates that 94% of empty building plots are in private hands, mostly private individuals. The state and developers could work together to persuade landowners to build on the many vacant plots in existing housing estates. “However, people see land prices
going up but that cash in the bank earns no interest, you can’t blame people for not wanting to sell,” noted Marc Lies, the housing spokesman for the main opposition CSV party. He favours a plan to help small communes deal with the legal, planning and many other aspects of getting projects moving. “A national housing company could provide know-how to help local authorities.” The more radical move of changing the constitution, to cut the influence of the 100-plus local authorities on the planning process, is likely to meet strong resistance from voters. Like property owners the world over, they enjoy being able to veto over new projects.
DEVELOPMENTS THAT WILL COME ONE DAY It takes many years to bring building projects to fruition. The new Cloche d’Or in Gasperich is about to provide a vibrant mix of homes, offices and retail outlets close to the city centre… nearly two decades after work started on the project. Esch-Belval is not yet complete a dozen years after the government gave the green light. It takes 7.3 years on average to apply for and receive a residential property building permit, said a report published in March by the Chambre des Métiers (the organisation representing the country’s skilled tradespeople). Developers are working in many areas. For example, in Luxembourg City there is a plot by RTL, the place de l’Europe on the Kirchberg, in Pulvermuhl, Merl, Hollerich, Royal-Hamilius and more. Outside the capital, the government has identified brownfield sites in Schifflange, Dudelange, Wiltz, and Dommeldange, as well as the Ettelbruck-Diekirch corridor known as the Nordstad. But don’t expect quick action.
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Text by STEPHEN EVANS
SHARP RISE IN PROPERTY PRICES POST CRISIS 130
House prices Apartment prices House rent Apartment rent
being driven principally by the economic fundamentals of supply and demand. However, purchase prices having risen faster than rent in recent years could indicate that valuations are moving away from the fundamentals. There might be other factors limiting rent rises. The law states that landlords are not entitled to charge rent valued at more than 5% of the investment they have made in that property. A tenant successfully challenged their landlord on this point last year, receiving substantial reimbursement for years worth of
over-paid rent. However, for most people such legal recourse would be beyond them, and many landlords are in effect getting away with it. How much does the average price of residential building land fall as distance from Luxembourg City increases? The Housing Observatory looked at land prices from 20102014 in their “Note 21” study. After a ten minute drive outside Luxembourg City, land prices were about 40% cheaper than in the capital, 60% cheaper after 20 minutes, 70% cheaper after 30 minutes, dropping to 80% after a 50 minute drive.
Source: Observatoire de l’Habitat of the Housing Ministry
POSSIBLE SPECULATION Comparing prices with average earnings and rental values are measures used by economists to give an idea if speculation is having an effect. In both, these calculations suggested broadly that prices and rent are
he recent spike in rent and property prices caught construction firms and public authorities by surprise. Between 2005-2009 the average annual increase to buy was 1.7% for houses and 2.9% for flats, said the government’s Housing Observatory (Observatoire de l’Habitat) and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. Rental increases were similar. These figures are not far removed from the general increase in consumer prices at that time, so in “real” terms, housing prices rose little, if at all. The population has boomed since the crisis, with a 74,100, or 15%, net increase since 2010. This is nearly twice the rate pre-2008. The effect on prices has been equally dramatic. The cost of buying a house has risen by 3.7% per year on average since 2010, with apartment costs up 4.8%, and this is against a backdrop of almost zero inflation. Apartment rents have increased by about 3.1% per year over this period, but curiously, the rate of increase of house rent slowed to 0.7%. Is there a speculative price bubble? The Luxembourg Central Bank and Liser both looked into this question last year. They concluded there probably wasn’t a bubble because prices were being driving by increasing amounts of money (boosted by low interest rates) chasing a limited number of properties.
OUTPACING INFLATION House prices and rent, and apartment rent, changed broadly in line with consumer prices from 2005 to 2009 (8%-9%). However, since 2010 house prices have risen by 28%, while inflation increased by just under 11%. The exception to this has been apartment prices, which have risen consistently since 2005 (by 52%), outstripping inflation by about 30 percentage points. This could be because the total stock of apartments on the market tends to have been built more recently than houses. Scale: 2005 = 100
How much have housing costs really risen? Since the global economic meltdown, more than twice the rate of inflation.
044_articles_Bus B_Real Estate.indd 44
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Text by STEPHEN EVANS
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SPOT THE TAX HAVEN What is a corporate tax haven? A new report shows that large, medium-sized and small countries use tax arrangements to attract international firms. Few are as attractive as Luxembourg.
ver half of international executives questioned in a recent survey, The home for business? Assessing the competitiveness of the UK, said Luxembourg had one of the three most competitive tax regimes in the world. This put the country level with the UK and ahead of Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US. Even France and Germany were mentioned. These results came from a survey of 65 businesses based outside the UK conducted by the British operation of the consultancy KPMG. The firm also surveyed UK companies and their foreign subsidiaries. Ireland and the UK came top in this poll, but with Luxembourg and the Netherlands also having significant renown.
SMALL, RICH, SUSPICIOUS? All these countries face criticism in the international press for the way they treat businesses’ tax affairs, but the quality of criticism of Luxembourg tends to feel sharper. Somehow commentators feel it is more indecent that a small country should engage in tax competition. Incidentally, the countries leading this list are all relatively rich, but being larger perhaps gives the impression that this is due to organic growth. Professor Jos van Bommel, an economist at the Luxembourg School of Finance, part of the University of Luxembourg, thinks that Luxembourg is simply better at enacting policies that other larger countries are trying to follow. “Due to its small size, Luxembourg is indeed faster in May 2016
WHERE INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES LIKE TO DO BUSINESS Most competitive tax regimes*
Most attractive destination for foreign direct investment from a tax perspective**
UK companies and subsidiaries
UK companies and subsidiaries
adapting itself to the needs of the business world,” he said, adding that tax is just one part of the equation with regulation, corporate governance and infrastructure all important. “But there is an additional advantage of being small: instant recognition and awareness [amongst professionals],” van Bommel added. He reckoned “this is a huge advantage for marketing, creating awareness, and attracting international talent.”
INCREASED COMPETITION Tax competition is increasing, and there were murmurings in Luxembourg when the UK announced it would be cutting its headline corporate tax rate to 17% in 2020. The equivalent figure here is set to fall to 26.01% by 2018. Van Bommel is not concerned, as the headline rate is just one part of the overall assessment made by international businesses. Indeed, as the KPMG report pointed out, “companies place more importance on the simplicity, stability and predictability of a tax regime than
on headline rates.” It added that “political and macro-economic stability are particularly appealing features.” “Luxembourg should not be worried about tax competition. It should however be worried about tax harmonisation,” said van Bommel. “The risk of Luxembourg losing its strong tax competitiveness does not lie in London, but in Brussels.” Prospects of this appear dim at the moment. A global effort to reduce tax optimisation, called the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting scheme, appears to be having a beneficial effect for the Grand Duchy. This move is prompting companies based here to beef up their operations, or in the jargon increasing “substance”. “I do, anecdotally, see a small and steady growth of multinationals ‘adding substance’,” van Bommel said. He added this was good for the economy as a whole as it “draws in international talent, and therefore makes the country more international and diverse, which is of course also good for business.”
NUMBER OF RESPONSES International companies enjoy Luxembourg’s tax environment, both for allround business activity and as somewhere to organise investment. However, the country faces tough competition. * Participants asked to cite three countries ** Participants asked to cite one country
DELAYING, NOT ESCAPING TAX When international businesses â€˜optimiseâ€™ their tax arrangements, they do not escape paying tax, they delay it. They use a range of techniques to cut their corporation tax bill, with the proceeds being saved for later use. This money might be invested in new projects and this generates sales tax and personal income tax. Alternatively, they will pay dividends to their owners the shareholders, and this too triggers income tax on these earnings. Some campaigners argue that this activity is immoral, that companies should abide by the spirit of the law and pay taxes on their income in a common-sense fashion. They point out that tax optimisation is only an option for multinational corporations, resulting in unfair competition for smaller businesses. Others argue that taxing businesses for doing well stifles output, and that maybe other forms of taxation are more efficient.
JOS VAN BOMMEL Headline rates are just one factor
Text by AARON GRUNWALD
Photography by JAN HANRION
CONSUMPTION BY COLOUR Red 61%, white 30% and rosé 9% (6).
SPARKLING WINE 5.2m litres were sold in 2014, a rise from 3.9m litres in 2009 (5).
2015 HARVEST Luxembourg winemakers reaped grapes for 8.3m litres of still wine and 2.6m litres of crémant (3).
WINE PRODUCTION Decreased from 11m litres in 2011 to 10.1m litres in 2014 (4).
FOREIGN VINTAGES Imported wines represented 75% of local consumption (3).
EXPORTS The Grand Duchy sold 4.6m litres in 2014/2015, down from 8.1m litres in 1995/1996 (3).
STILL WINE 25.6m litres were sold in Luxembourg in 2014, up from 24.8m litres sold in 2009 (5).
GET THE PICTURE
BEHIND THE BOTTLES In recent years, Luxembourg wines have been moving upmarket and racking up industry awards in France and across Europe (1), and raking in more than $60m in export earnings annually (2). Take, for example, Bernard-Massard, which is the “biggest private producer in Luxembourg” according to the firm’s Antoine Clasen. It produced 3.5m bottles last year, 90% of it bubbly, earning €17m in sales, up from €16.4m in 2014. About half of its production is sold abroad; its biggest foreign markets are Belgium, Canada and Finland. Here are a few more facts on the Grand Duchy’s wine market. Pictured is a bottle of Bernard-Massard’s 2013 millésimé brut, its “top cuvée”. Aficionados should, Clasen says, detect “notes of apples, pears, yellow fruits, lime, fresh bread and butter with a lot of freshness.”
Sources: (1) luxembourg.public.lu and thedrinksbusiness.com; (2) United Nations Statistics Division; (3) Luxembourg’s Institut Viti-Vinicole (Winemakers Institute); (4) California’s Wine Institute; (5) Euromonitor International modelled estimate provided to Delano; (6) winealley.com, a website run by the French bank Crédit Agricole
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GOING GREEN IN THE WORKPLACE Employers are slowly but surely becoming more ecologically conscious. Some say taking several small steps can add up fast.
he director of the Verkéiersverbond, Gilles Dostert, says: “We have no parking facilities for our employees. Instead we have public transport for everyone, and provide bikes for meetings.” While this may sound utopian to some and shocking to others in car-loving Luxembourg, it is a model a growing number of companies are now moving towards, with a strong trend in implementing environmentally-friendly practices in the workplace. While other organisations might not aim for the dramatic modal split of Luxembourg’s public transport administration, encouraging employees to use more sustainable modes of transport to get to work and to meetings around town is a great place to start when “going green”.
SOFT MOBILITY As corporate responsibility regarding the environment moves higher on the agenda for companies and public administrations, these organisations are seeking ways to become more environmentally-friendly in their business practices, but also in the workplace. Verkéiersverbond is the key contact in Luxembourg for mobility matters. The outfit promotes the use of buses, trains and bicycles, and helps private companies and industrial estate managers to do the same through its M-Concept consulting service. Specialists work with each company to analyse all of the travel carried out by their employees, to provide ideas on what to change and to create an action plan. This can include carpooling or carsharing, offering employees the M-Pass, an annual discounted public May 2016
transport pass, and providing bike racks or e-bikes. One advantage of working with Verkéiersverbond is the possibility for the umbrella organisation of transport operators to tweak the existing service to the needs of employees. “When there is critical mass, we can change something,” explains Dostert. Deloitte, with its three buildings near Findel, is one company to recently benefit from this, getting a new bus stop right in front of its offices. “It’s really about public transport,” says the consulting firm’s corporate and social responsibility project manager, Fred Sabban. “Now a bus goes directly from the Gare [bus] station to Deloitte with few stops in between, which makes it easier and quicker to get to work.” The company underwrites the M-Pass for all interested employees, as well as offering bicycle parking and shower access to support cycling. While some companies are only just beginning to adopt green measures, others have already integrated them into their core business. In 2011, Deloitte was the first big firm to get the “Entreprise Socialement Responsable” label by Luxembourg’s National Institute for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility (INDR) for its CSR policy. The firm has a department dedicated to implementing this,
including the environmental aspects. The European Investment Bank, which considers the protection of the environment to be one of its key priorities, also has a corporate social responsibility division and is now working to implement an internal environmental management system.
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Boonchu, a new chain of Thai fastfood restaurants with its inaugural location in Bertrange, is an example of a company integrating green values from the start. “Five years ago we wanted to be innovative and said, let’s try to be as environmentally-friendly as possible,” says one of its partners, David Bernard. The restaurant offers up Thai meals with 100% biodegradable service ware, from palm-leaf plates to forks made of sugarcane or corn. “Our cutlery and cups look like plastic but we don’t use any plastic in our restaurant,” says Bernard. The company is now looking to replace further kitchen items with biodegradable alternatives and is working on a new concept for sustainable waste management with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and the economy ministry. Managing waste is one of the main focuses for companies that aim to be
SUPERDRECKS KËSCHT Thomas Hoffmann (on right) and his colleague inspect recyclable materials
" FOR EVERY CATEGORY OF WASTE THERE IS A SOLUTION."
VERKÉIERS VERBOND Gilles Dostert promotes employersubsidised bikesharing and public transport passes
environmentally friendly. Super DrecksKëscht (SDK) is the main name in waste sorting, and develops waste management plans for companies in Luxembourg. An initiative of the ministry of sustainable development and infrastructure, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trades that was launched back in 1992, it also provides certification under its “SuperDrecksKëscht fir Betriber” (Super Garbage Box for Companies) label to employers that meet its strict criteria and pass regular inspections. “We have 4,300 companies working with us,” says SDK’s head of communication, Thomas Hoffmann, “and 60% are certified with the label.” The organisation offers support to any company interested, starting with a detailed look at their current waste situation. “It’s the same now as it was in the beginning. We go around and look in every wastebin, then make an analysis,” he explains. SDK then helps companies identify their different waste categories, and how to dispose of them. “For every category of waste there is a solution,” says Hoffmann, noting that an industrial company could have up to 40 to 50 different types of waste that need to be stored and disposed of separately.
Luckily, the average workplace only needs to deal with a few extra categories beyond paper and plastic, such as ink cartridges, batteries or old electrical equipment, and SDK can help by providing special containers to collect these. The EIB’s two Kirchberg buildings have held the SuperDrecksKëscht fir Betrieber label since 2007, and have bins located around the office areas and restaurant for waste sorting. Deloitte is another company with the certification, having first received it in 2009. The company provides bins around the offices as well as a recycling centre where employees can dispose of special items including batteries, old phones, eyeglasses and clothing, with the latter going to the Red Cross. But even better than managing waste is preventing it. Deloitte recently made a small change in its workplace with a dramatic long-term effect. “We used to use plastic cups everywhere,” explains Sabban. His team decided to try and change this by distributing reusable eco-mugs to all employees and running a communication campaign about why and how to use them. Then they permanently removed all of the plastic and paper cups from the water fountains and automatic coffee machines around the office. “We can now avoid throwing away 400,000 paper and plastic cups each year!” says Sabban. At the EIB, they have found a way to reduce the mountain of forgotten and unwanted printouts that often pile up near the office printer. “We have recently implemented an ‘on-demand’ printing system that requires staff to present their badge to collect their documents,” explains Tero Pietila, the head of its CSR division. This means that a page is only printed when an employee physically stands at the printer and selects the job, greatly reducing the number of pages printed by mistake or in duplicate.
AUTOMATED EFFICIENCY Reducing energy use is another area where companies can make a few changes that make a big difference. At Boonchu, both the restaurant and
Discover the new Archiduc now on newsstands. www.maisonmoderne.com
" WE CAN NOW AVOID THROWING AWAY 400,000 PAPER AND PLASTIC CUPS EACH YEAR!"
offices have a fully automatic and centralised lighting system. “Lights turn on and switch off depending on the level of brightness outside, and on the opening hours of the restaurant, with only minimal lighting in the morning when employees are arriving,” says Bernard. The EIB has a similar system in place, particularly in its East building, which was designed to be as energy-efficient as possible. The glassdomed building lets in a great deal of natural light, reducing the need for additional lighting. Office lighting is set below normal ergonomic requirements, with brighter desk lamps available for each employee, and the overhead lighting automatically switches off at 7 p.m., when most have already left the office. The East building offers other innovative design features to reduce energy use and provide natural temperature control, and was the first building in Luxembourg to be certified under the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (Breeam) in Luxembourg. Deloitte have also opted to apply for Breeam certification, a leading sustainability assessment for buildings, for their new offices currently under construction in Cloche d’Or, which will allow them to have a purpose-built environmentally-friendly workplace.
START WITH LITTLE THINGS Even without a state-of-the-art new building, there are many other things companies can do to become more environmentally-friendly. SDK has implemented a wide range of measures that are realistic options for other organisations, such as using only regional trees and plants for landscaping, avoiding pesticides, providing employees with organic fruit, sourcing fairtrade work clothing and using only eco-friendly cleaning products. Hoffmann recommends starting simple and going step-by-step to ensure that each new change is within budget. “For example, use recycled paper. It sounds simple but there are still so many prejudices against it!”
DELOITTE Fred Sabban helped bin plastic cups at the consulting firm
BE AN ECO-BOSS Local initiatives to help you go green in the workplace. Public transport: Offer employees a discounted M-Pass through Verkéiersverbond (www.mobiliteit.lu). Carsharing: Sign up for the Carloh car sharing service or organise your own carpooling for employees (www.carloh.lu). Cycling: Encourage employees to join Mam Vëlo op d’Schaff (15 May to 31 July, www.mvos.lu). Recycling: Provide bins not only for paper and plastic, but also organic waste, batteries, old electronics, etc., with the help of SuperDrecksKëscht (www.sdk.lu). Office supplies: Look for products designed to be eco-friendly or made from recycled materials. SuperDrecksKëscht’s Clever Akafen web directory lists local suppliers. Energy: Use low-energy lightbulbs and automatic on/off settings. Printing: Choose companies that offer non-toxic ink or carbon neutral printing.
MAM VELO OP D’SCHAFF
9. EDITIOUN EMIER
Avec le soutien de :
En collaboration avec :
Sponsorisé par : Verkéiersverbond presents:
Text by AARON GRUNWALD
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
LOOKING 5 YEARS BACK, 5 YEARS AHEAD After five years as CEO of HSBC in Luxembourg, Nigel Fielding stepped down at the end of March. He spoke with Delano about the future of the financial industry following his retirement.
igel Fielding arrived in the Grand Duchy 17 years ago, joining an outfit that was later acquired by HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks. In 2010, he says, “it was fairly normal in HSBC to have a country chief executive office, but there had never been one in Luxembourg, and it looked like an anomaly.” So he was offered the job, which meant a makeover of the bank’s operations and strategy. “We had lots of entities [which were] in a way duplications. We had three management companies, we had three banks,” for example. Reorganisation “meant some rightsizing”, but equally meant expanding into new markets. HSBC had already been known for servicing alternative investment funds, but moved into the Ucits space, which is several times larger here. It also moved towards fewer but much wealthier individual clients. “We have totally refocused private banking over the last five years, and the last three years it’s really paid off,” the former CEO says. Scandals such as LuxLeaks emerged during his tenure and “there’s no question that it was damaging” to the country’s reputation. But mainly “it crystallised some thinking” and “probably accelerated” moves that had been in the works. That included Luxembourg’s early adoption of the OECD Common Reporting Standards, and its shift away from the EU Savings Directive towards automatic exchange of information.
CRYSTAL BALL “Luxembourg now is in a good position”, but he hopes government May 2016
and industry leaders ask themselves the question, “what’s going to be the hot-button in five years?” Fielding believes terrorism could be one such issue. “I think there’s going to be a reaction of how do we ensure that no part of our system is facilitating this.” “One more challenge, or opportunity, is technology,” he reckons. People simply want to manage their finances on their smartphones. “If you’re an investor in a fund, you don’t necessarily want to fill out a form anymore. It’s going to be an application on phone or a barcode or whatever that you can scan and get your subscription done to a fund.” And will we be buying mutual funds on Facebook five years from now? “I don’t know about [specifically on] Facebook, but on a platform of some sort, I fully expect that.” He handed the reigns off to Lars Rejding late last year but stayed on in a consulting role for several months. Now that he is formally retired, Fielding plans to continue living in Luxembourg, although he will be able to visit his parents in the UK much more
NIGEL FIELDING Retired bank CEO wants to stay active in Luxembourg community
frequently. He also plans to remain actively involved in the environmental group natur&ëmwelt. “I wasn’t so involved in the local community until I took this job,” he says. One “thing that I’ve really enjoyed is just the number of people that I’ve met in Luxembourg. And it’s not about meeting numbers of people, it’s about who you meet.” Fielding states: “I’ve met really interesting people, who I know are doing interesting things. I know that I will carry forward some of those relationships. That’s really a nice feeling to have.”
10Ă—6 LEADERSHIP: LESSONS LEARNED, LESSONS SHARED WEDNESDAY 11.05.2016
On a daily basis, managers and leaders have to face a constant stream of challenges. Some of these challenges remain a vivid memory for those who have had to overcome them because of the complexity of the matter, the difficulty to find the right answer, or the necessity to rethink some established principles. This conference is an opportunity for 10 leaders to present the lessons they have learned during their careers. AGENDA
18:30 WELCOME COCKTAIL
19:00 WORD OF WELCOME
19:15 10 TALKS
20:25 WALKING & NETWORKING DINNER
Jean-Claude BINTZ Lakehouse
Xavier BUCK DCL Group
Josee Lynda DENIS Independent Senior Advisor
Marc LEMMER Business Development Advisor
Bernard LHERMITTE ING
Sophie MITCHELL Deloitte
John PARKHOUSE PwC Luxembourg
Raymond SCHADECK Independent Director
Laurent SCHONCKERT Cactus
David SCHRIEBERG VitalBriefing
PA RK ING
Registration required: www.Paperjam.club
Centre culturel Tramsschapp 49, rue Ermesinde Luxembourg-Limpertsberg
72-74 avenue Pasteur Luxembourg-Limpertsberg
Delano presents a selection of upcoming business and networking events for Luxembourg’s international community. Advance registration or fees may be required, so consult the website indicated for full details. All events are held in English unless otherwise noted. EURO-IX FORUM
NETWORKING DINNER Wed 27 April
Nordic Women’s Club i Luxembourg On Facebook
Mon 25 - Tue 26 April Lu-Cix
Representatives, from across Europe, of more than 40 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), the technical facilities that help link up the internet, will talk tech at this twice yearly confab. Hotel Alvisse, LuxembourgDommeldange, all day
“We will get together, share knowledge, acquire new connections and also have fun.” Limited to NWC members and their guests. Restaurant Waldhaff, route d’Echternach, Waldhof, 18:30
Tue 26 April
Mon 9 May Irish Chamber
Casemates Club is just one of eight Toastmasters public speaking groups in Luxembourg that meet two evenings a month. No need to be a native anglophone. Click on “Go to…” on website for venues and times
Third edition of the IrelandLuxembourg Chamber of Commerce’s early stage startup pitching competition, with business support prizes awarded by ILCC partners. Non-members can apply too. Venue and time to be announced
Fri 13 May
University of Luxembourg ised.uni.lu
Tue 10 May Docler Holding
The digital media firm and partners are giving entrepreneurs 3 minutes and 33 seconds to present their project. Top prize is €50,000. During the ICT Spring conference. European Convention Centre, Luxembourg-Kirchberg
This year’s interdisciplinary Information Security Education Day, organised with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, focuses on “the realm of big data and analytics”. University of Luxembourg, Kirchberg campus, 09:00-16:00
EUROPEAN SPACE RACE Tue 10 - Wed 11 May
Tue 24 May
Investors, operators, suppliers and technologists in the space sector discuss global connectivity, the Internet of things, cyber security and space mining, plus view expo stands. European Convention Centre, Luxembourg-Kirchberg
“Leadership skills and creative thinking” presented by Kamel Mnisri of ICN Business School and “How to boost your creativity” presented by Miranda van den Heuvel of Create & Connect (photo). Neimënster, Luxembourg-Grund, 14:00-17:15
RISK SUMMIT Thu 26 May
Thu 12 May Diversity Charter Lëtzebuerg www.chartediversite.lu
Private and public employers hold exhibitions, seminars and other events “around the promotion of diversity” with the aim of “working towards a more inclusive society”. At workplaces across the Grand Duchy
your FARE real estate partner sales · rentals · commercial · residential www.FARE.LU · t. 26 897 897
PITCH YOUR STARTUP
The trade group Alfi and professional body Alrim host the 7th European Risk Management Conference “to explore the latest trends and strategies being used to measure, manage and mitigate risks”. Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, all day
IT’S FREE TO SUBMIT YOUR EVENT If your organisation’s event belongs on this page, let us know the details. Agenda listings are selected by Delano’s editorial department, so there is never any charge for organisers. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Mical (CC BY-NC 2.0) > Docler Holding IMS Luxembourg
Photo: ©101Studios / layout by Bunker Palace
SIGURDUR FLOSASON (DE) LUX PROJECT BOJAN Z & JULIEN LOURAU SYLVAIN RIFFLET – “ACOUS_MATIC” FRANCESCO BEARZATTI TINISSIMA 4TET CALIBRO 35 TATSUYA NAKATANI & ASSIF TSAHAR GREG LAMY 4TET BUGGE WESSELTOFT’S NEW CONCEPTION OF JAZZ PIT DAHM TRIO W/HARMEN FRAANJE NOSTALGIA 77 MAXIME BENDER “UNIVERSAL SKY” VOODOO – PHIL GORDIANI RITA MARCOTULLI – EUROPEAN LEADERS ORIOXY HIDDEN ORCHESTRA RUBRICA ART ENSEMBLE FRED WESLEY AND THE NEW JB’S
Text by TONYA STONEMAN
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND Away from the office, Jeannot Behm moves past the line of sight.
MY OTHER LIFE
eannot Behm keeps about 30 airplanes in his house at any given time, but the one he’s building right now might just be the biggest. When he’s not helping companies to reduce their energy consumption and assisting the environment ministry in achieving the country’s energy efficiency goals, he pursues another equally important goal: in his own unique way, he is helping a group of devoted aviation aficionados bring back a very special airplane. FanJet Aviation hopes to revive the Fantrainer 600, a two-seater German training aircraft built in the 1980s, introducing it as the new Fanjet 600. To bring attention to this cause, Behm is building an exact model replica of the airplane--bolt for bolt. “It’s a special plane,” Behm says. “There are only two originals in the world and it needs to survive the history books.” He started constructing model planes when he was a small boy. The first aircraft he built came from a wooden kit. Behm assembled it carefully in his father’s workshop, managing to attach two left wings to the cabin and gluing it to the floor. His “beginner’s luck” did not deter him though, and he has continued assembling bigger and better models ever since--he has built hundreds. He learned the craft from his father, who learned it from his father; model airplane building has been in his family for three generations. In fact, he’s working with his father on the Fanjet now. The two of them and two other friends work about 16 hours a week each on the project. They have been at it for six years, so in total they’ve put in 19,968 hours to date. “We’ve built it from scratch,” says Behm. “The grades, linkages, May 2016
engines, mechanics, electronics, lights, radios, the cockpit… we make everything on our own as similar to the original as possible. It’s very difficult to get it to scale.” When the plane is finished, the team, the Modell Club Petite Suisse of Berdorf, will enter it in the World Championships in Germany. Building a model like this requires a great deal of diversified skills and patience. The team members are close friends and enjoy the camaraderie they share with one another and other likeminded people from all over the world. It’s a friendly crowd where hobbyists help one another, but are serious about their craft. Behm’s team participated in a major event in Germany last year and he will assist a jet master in Finland next year. As team manager and pilot, he will fly the Fanjet in competition when the time comes (via remote control, of course). It’s a big machine with powerful jet propulsion, so the only limiting factor will be his line of sight--in practical terms, that is. When it comes to vision, he can see a lot farther.
JEANNOT BEHM Pictured with one of his older models. Modell Club Petite Suisse of Berdorf: www.mcps.lu
LIFESTYLE TEAM CHALLENGE The escape room concept has finally arrived in Luxembourg. Made for between two and six players, Escape Room 216K features a “Release Miss Rose” challenge that requires the team to solve the riddle of a missing secretary. A second challenge, “Modern Art Gallery” is due to open soon. The concept is aimed at the over 14s, but families are welcome and special “Little detectives” versions are available for kids aged 8-12. Where: Escape Room 216K, 59 rue de Cessange, Luxembourg-Cessange Info: www.216k-escaperoom.com
VINTAGE COMFORTS Come à la cave is, as its name suggests, a new wine bar opened by the team behind trattoria Come à la maison. Like the trattoria, the wine bar is located in the Robin du Lac store. It has a list of some 500 references, mostly Italian but also some French and Luxembourg vintages. They are available in 5 or 12cl glasses or by the bottle. What’s more, guests can even buy the furniture that decorates the bar. Where: Come à la cave, 70 route d’Esch, Luxembourg-Hollerich Info: www.comealamaison.lu
ARTY BRASSERIE A new restaurant that styles itself on the brasseries of the famous Parisian neighbourhood. But Montmartre is much more than a restaurant--the venue is also an exhibition space and a stage that allows diners to discover new artists. The menu offers typical brasserie dishes such as sole meunière, filet de bœuf béarnaise and crème brûlée. Open daily, except Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Where: Montmartre, 29 rue du Fort Elisabeth, Luxembourg-Gare Info: www.montmartre.lu
SQUEEZING IN THE BRIDGE
ay traditionally sees the start of the ‘bridge’ season--that flurry of public holidays that fall, by design or according to the calendar, on a Thursday or Tuesday and require the taking of an extra day’s vacation to take advantage of an extended weekend. To British people, such nonsense is anathema. The UK, for all its faults, has the wisdom to ensure that all public holidays fall on a Monday. Indeed, apart from Thanksgiving in the States, most English-speaking countries never allow a holiday to fall on a Thursday or Tuesday if possible. This leap year, however, workers in Luxembourg really are out of luck. In 2016 Ascension, as it always does, is on a Thursday, but 1 May falls on a Sunday, which is particularly poor form for the so-called worker’s holiday. What’s more, the National Day holiday on 23 June is a Thursday, which poses a dilemma: do you leave on Wednesday afternoon and thus miss out on the biggest party of the year on the 22nd of June? Or do you just take the Friday off and travel to your destination with a guaranteed hangover on the 23rd? I guess it all depends on how patriotic you really are. Later in the year, All Saint’s Day is a Tuesday, so, hurrah, all the pagans taking a bridge on Halloween are guaranteed a 4-day weekend. On the other hand, Christians have to put up with Christmas Day falling on a Sunday--which, inevitably, means that New Year’s Day is also on a Sunday. This is clearly no good to anyone. Of course, labour laws grant workers days in lieu in such circumstances, but there is disappointment at being robbed of the joy of “faire le pont” as the French call it. Incidentally, the Germans, Italians, Portuguese and Spanish all also “make the bridge”, whereas the Chileans and Indonesians apparently use the much more appetising idiom of a “sandwich”. But the Norwegians and Swedes call that extra day “squeezed”--“inneklemte dager” and the wonderful “klämdagar” respectively--which is precisely how anyone travelling over the Ascension weekend will feel when boarding their Ryanair plane or edging their vehicle along one of the south-bound motorways.
Alexander Blum / Wikimedia Commons
CLASS IN A GLASS Recently opened in Limpertsberg, Barrels is a contemporary wine bar that serves tapas and small platters, and also a regular dish of the day, such as tagliata Iberique or fish and chips. The wine list is currently limited to around 30 vintages available by the glass, ranging from as little as €5.50 to a more serious €25 for a glass of a 2006 Brunello di Montalcino. A formula of four dishes with four matching wines for €45 is proving particularly popular. Where: Barrels, 21 allée Scheffer, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg Info: www.barrels.lu
GRAND DUCHY FILES
Perfect weekend for big music
peal to the masses, so ys is watered down to ap da se the ekend that sic mu lar pu Much po and energy over the we on ssi pa l rea h wit ng why not try somethi bridges April and May?
Diary DIRECT TO MANCHESTER AND BIRMINGHAM
Regional airline FlyBe has announced brand new routes between Luxembourg and Manchester and Birmingham in the UK starting in September. The schedule offers daily flights to and from Birmingham and a twice daily service to Manchester, with one flight a day at weekends. One way fares start from £29.99 including taxes and charges. www.flybe.com
FRIDAY 29.4 - 8 P.M.
Clos des Rochers’s Riesling Groaerd 2014 has won a gold medal at the prestigious Mundus Vini wine competition in Neustadt. The limited edition wine will only be available at the end of 2016, exclusively from Bernard-Massard. www.clos-des-rochers.com
"ENG NEI ZAIT" DOMINATES AWARDS
FlyBe Marion Dessard Bernard Massard COSL
Director Christophe Wagner, actor Luc Schiltz and cinematographer Jako Raybaut picked up three Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis statuettes for post-WWII drama Eng Nei Zäit in March. It was the second such sweep for samsa film after Wagner, Raybaut and Jules Werner won the same awards in 2014 for Doudege Wënkel. www.samsa.lu
The Storm, an international tattoo convention, is being held at Luxexpo over the weekend of 20 to 22 May. Guests include model Joker Boy and actor Robert Lasardo. www.thestorm.lu
A group of singers from Luxembourg are among the several thousand choristers who will fill the Albert Hall in London on 8 May for a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. The chorus will be conducted by Brian Kay with the English Festival Orchestra. www.trbc.co.uk
ON THE ROAD
The Olympic committee’s annual Spillfest takes place on Whit Thursday at Kockelscheuer. The event is a grand day out for families with kids who can try their hand at all sorts of sports and games. Catering is provided at an international food village. www.spillfest.lu
GET YOUR FILL OF WAGNER… …with soprano Ann Petersen, who performs a programme of Wagner à Paris with the OPL conducted by former musical director Emmanuel Krivine. She will sing the famous ‘Liebestod’ from Tristan and Isolde. Where: Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg Info: www.philharmonie.lu
British rock band Heart Of A Coward gave a spontaneous show for truckers stranded at the Habay parking area on the E25 motorway near Arlon after their tour bus was forced to stop because Belgian truckers had blocked the road. The group managed to get to the Rockhal in time for their 4 April show. Heart Of A Coward on Facebook
SATURDAY 30.4 - 4 P.M.
HEAR COOL DUO… …at the Out Of The Crowd festival when Londonbased brothers Ben and Tom play what has been described as “jazz-inflected space rock” that packs a real punch (see page 74). Where: Kulturfabrik, Esch-Alzette Info: www.ootcfestival.com
SUNDAY 01.5 - 7 P.M.
GO GOTH IN CLAUSEN... …with a triple bill put on by Stan Promotions and featuring Italians From The Fire and Burning Gates (post-punk and 80s alternative influences) as well as the highly acclaimed Terminal Gods from the UK. Where: Rock Box, rives de Clausen, Luxembourg-Clausen Info: www.rockbox.lu May 2016
Text by WENDY WINN
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
Luxembourg shows its true colours
ore than 10,000 people showed up to run, jog or walk around the track at d’Coque over a 24-hour period in March. They were dressed in the colours of their teams making the track and the bleachers a spring bouquet of pinks, yellows, greens and blues. The event was the 11th annual Relais pour la vie, organised by the Fondation Cancer in Luxembourg in support of people with cancer and their families, friends and caregivers. Paula’s Team was dressed in bright pink this year. Six years ago, Paula Faustino was in the race herself-both literally at the event and figuratively, fighting for her life. She lost her battle, but her huge family gathers every year to show their solidarity and to keep Paula’s memory alive. “Being in the Relais gave her strength, and we carry on, knowing she would have wanted us to,” said Paula’s niece, Monique Jorge. www.relaispourlavie.lu
RELAY RACE A. Paula’s Team: Monique Jorge, Faustino Lino, Fernando Pinto, India Dos Santos and Dulce Pinto B. Dutch team: Olger Draijer, Jessica Wortel, Nienke ter Avest (team captain), Marjory Pels, Eveline Pels and Kasper Meijerink C. German team: Marc, Jill, Hauke, Julia, Beate and Tina D. Heike Sinwell and Annette Gerges E. Nicole, Valentina and Emilia F. Nelson Martins and Sara Martins G. Maé Lemal and Camille Costa H. I. 375 teams, with up to 45 people on each, participated in the 11th “Relais pour la vie” fundraising and community support event A
Marionette festival 7th biennial festival of object and puppet theatre
Sat 14 - Mon 16.5.16
photo : Sven Becker
Text by ALIX RASSEL
Photography by LALA LA PHOTO
From geishas to giving The Japanese Ladies Association of Luxembourg aims not only to help Japanese people moving to Luxembourg integrate into the Grand Duchy, but also to promote Japanese culture across the Greater Region.
akiko Witolla Hayashi is no stranger to living abroad. Since leaving her hometown of Nagoya (located roughly halfway between Tokyo and Osaka), Makiko has lived and worked in the US, London, Hong Kong and Frankfurt. Whilst she was on maternity leave, her German husband accepted a position in Luxembourg, and for the first time Makiko (pictured on the right) had to learn all there is to know about living in a new country without the assistance of working colleagues. “When you are working and move to a new country, you have your colleagues to help you readjust. However, when you are not working, it is more difficult to integrate into society. That’s why I and two associates decided to found the JLA in April 2012.” The initial purpose of the JLA was to provide its members, predominantly mothers and spouses, with information and orientation in the Japanese language on life in Luxembourg. However, it soon became apparent that there were many nonJapanese nationals interested in learning about Japanese culture, cuisine and
language. “The JLA currently has approximately 300 members,” explains Makiko, the association’s chair. “Less than half of the members are actually Japanese.” Many of those members are individuals who are travelling or relocating to Japan, but some have learnt to speak Japanese and want to practice their language skills. “Every month we have a Japanese conversation evening, usually at the Sushi Shop in the city centre, where people can come along and speak Japanese. It’s surprising how many people in Luxembourg know our language.” The JLA organises a variety of events throughout the year to celebrate Japanese culture. On 17 March, they held an event combining Japanese sake and French cuisine with live entertainment from two traditional geishas of the Ishikawa branding project. “Most Japanese nationals have never seen traditional geishas perform this ceremony. It is often performed for tourists, but not authentically, so this event is extremely special,” adds Makiko. Other events are often organised in collaboration with the Japanese embassy, such as the popular tea ceremony or the ‘Wagashi’ traditional sweet making workshop held in the spring. Charitable work is also an extremely important part of the group’s agenda. “The JLA supports the [Red Cross and the]
International Bazaar every year and the event requires a great deal of planning,” says Makiko. “This year the JLA has responsibility for organising the products and food sold at the bazaar. Last year the Japanese stand sold approximately 3,000 yakitori and 500 sushi boxes, so that is a lot of work for us.” Planning for the event begins in April and continues throughout the year including a sushi making class in October. For the event itself, around 70 volunteers are needed to help sell the products. In addition to the International Bazaar, the JLA provides an annual monetary donation to Ashinaga, a charity that assists orphaned students, including children who lost parents in the great Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and the eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Ashinaga provides educational assistance, summer camps and ‘Rainbow Houses’ in Tokyo and Kobe, where children can talk with professionals and others who have suffered from the emotional loss of parents. Despite the transient nature of the Japanese population in Luxembourg, Makiko believes the club has been so successful partly because of Japanese culture. “The Japanese are renowned for being loyal, sincere and collaborative. We are lucky to have people with these attributes in our association and their dedication is the key to our future.”
BAZAR INTERNATIONAL An all-time record €600,000 was donated to 97 charities worldwide from the receipts taken at the Bazar International last year. Info: www.bazar-international.lu
THE NETWORK The Network, Luxembourg’s oldest English speaking professional women’s association, has elected a new board under president Lisa Francis-Jennings. Info: www.thenetwork.lu
FEATS The annual Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies takes place at the Centre culturel in Woluwe St-Pierre in Brussels, 5-8 May. Info: www.feats.eu
KING’S COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION A new club for King’s College London alumni launched in Luxembourg. Members and friends met at the residence of the British ambassador. Info: email@example.com
JAPANESE ORGANISATIONS JLA Despite the name, the Japanese Ladies Association of Luxembourg is open to both men and women of any nationality who have an interest in Japan and its culture. Info: www.jlaluxembourg.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org JAPANESE STAND Preparations are already under way for the 56th Bazar International de Luxembourg, a major fundraiser and cultural event which will take place in the autumn. Info: www.bazar-international.lu and click on “Bazar stands” then “Japan” Email: email@example.com ASHINAGA The orphan support group publishes in both English and Japanese on its website. Info: www.ashinaga.org JAPANESE EMBASSY The Japanese embassy in Luxembourg website provides further cultural information. Info: www.lu.emb-japan.go.jp On Facebook SUSHI Despite popular western belief, sushi is usually only eaten in Japan at restaurants or on special occasions where large banquets are served. Miso soup, rice and noodles are the most commonly eaten Japanese foods but western style food has become more mainstream in everyday life.
NEWCOMERS COURSES AMCHAM The business chamber continues its series of “Newcomers Orientation Courses for Third-Country Nationals” in English through September. Visit the Amcham website for details. Info: www.amcham.lu
25TH ANNIVERSARY INDIAN ASSOCIATION 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the Indian Association of Luxembourg. Details of the celebrations will be unveiled soon in Delano. Info: www.ial.lu
RED CROSS The Red Cross continues its nationwide “collection month” throughout April under the motto “Merci fir Är Mënschlechkeet” (thanks for your humanity). Info: www.croix-rouge.lu
NEW WORLD THEATRE CLUB Director Gavan Guilfoyle is holding auditions for the next NWTC production, Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, at Altrimenti on 30 April. See details on the website. Info: www.nwtc.lu May 2016
Ramunas Astraukas Olivier Minaire Charles Caratini
Text by SARAH PITT & DUNCAN ROBERTS
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
Great urban s r o o d t ou
cant urban spaces mes out. Previously vathe pavements , co n su the en wh ve ali s to Luxembourg truly comes, cyclists and tourists. Terraces spill out on rbecue and street throng with pedestrian from the public squares and the smell of ba making things live music can be heard streets. Delano talks to some of the people food wafts through the summer. happen in the cit y this
SIMON & AMAYA LAROSCHE
Dela no’s favou r ite u rba n ter races N SEBASTIAAEERDEN VAN DER W
he space around the rue du Marchéaux-Herbes and rue du Curé, between the terraces of Go Ten, Palais, Urban and Octans is fast becoming a golden triangle of urban nightlife in the capital city. On a summer’s night, the thronging terraces of these bars seem to slowly merge into one house party, with some guests moving with ease between the different spaces; others stick to what they know best all the while checking out what is happening across the way, just in case the action is better in another area of the party. Entrepreneur SEBASTIAAN VAN DER WEERDEN is the owner of Go Ten and a partner in Octans. He is also an associate in the running of Konrad café, The Tube and what was formerly Colony--all within 100 metres of the other two bars. Born and bred in Luxembourg to Dutch parents, Sebastiaan describes himself as a ‘cheeseburger’. He is Luxembourgish, but his Dutch origins--the ‘cheese’--has helped shape him. “Particularly my entrepreneurial side of reacting fast and responding to opportunities when they come about.” That includes GO TEN creating a new 30-seat capacity Make sure you have shade at terrace at The Tube following lunchtime (great set menu), when the redevelopment of the street the place is a sun trap. Lively into a pedestrian zone and the hangout in the evening, great for gin and tonics after work. re-opening of former football Where: 10 rue du Marché-auxfans favourite bar Colony (under Herbes, Luxembourg-Centre a name yet to be revealed) Info: www.goten.lu as a cosy place serving tapas.
Previously in marketing, Sebastiaan says it took ten years to fulfil his dream of having his own bar. “At the beginning I thought I wanted to be a bar tender, but I learned the hard way that actually URBAN I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My The bar that started it all in partner at Octans, Justin Renzaho, has the Old Town, still a favourite been there at crucial times to give me hangout for lunch or the a little push in the right direction at the evening, when the terrace right moment. He was the one who spills out into the street. Where: 2 rue pointed out that the Go Ten building de la Boucherie, was for sale, my first bar and the one Luxembourg-Centre that kick-started everything.” Info: www.urban.lu
NEIGHBOURHOOD VALUES He says he was motivated by what he thought was something missing in Luxembourg. “Adding value to the neighbourhood, that is and always has been my only aim. I create things that I like and places that I would like to go to,” says Sebastiaan. “The bars are not merely businesses; they are my children. I can’t say which one I prefer, just as a parent doesn’t have a favourite child. I try to travel and get inspiration abroad, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Chicago, San Francisco…” Go Ten, which celebrated its 7th anniversary on 10 April, became renowned for its set menu Asianinfluenced lunches and its stylish sun-trap terrace, furnished with heated concrete seating for cooler nights. The bar, which has seven beers on tap, is now working top quality gins into its cocktails. “We don’t have a cocktail culture in Luxembourg, so the more bars that do cocktails, the merrier.” Around the May 2016
corner, Octans changes its cocktail menu every six months. “The spring menu features 12 new cocktails from 12 different countries.” Sebastiaan has his eye on Bourbon, his favourite poison alongside gin, becoming the next trend for cocktails. “Bourbons would be my next bet. Single malt is often too technical and too peaty and heavy. It is not feminine enough. Bourbon is easier to work with and goes very well with many cocktails.” Talking of cocktails, Octans has just celebrated its first anniversary and provides what Sebastiaan thinks is another missing link in Luxembourg City. “The greatest compliments that I have had are that people feel that they are in Paris, Rome or London, which was the intention. This has nothing to do with snobbery but that it has an international feel and flair. It is both laid back and stylish. We make bespoke cocktails: you tell us what you like, and your preferred poison, and we make you a cocktail to THE TUBE suit your taste.” The bar has a resident A new 30-capacity terrace house music DJ every Saturday, while will tumble across the during the week the music is jazzy. newly paved pedestrian “Eventually the aim is to have small zone between the bar and jazz bands play on an irregular basis.” the National Art and History Museum. But Sebastiaan recognises that Where: 8 rue Sigefroi, apart from original drinks and good Luxembourg-Centre customer service, the success of a bar Info: on Facebook during summer largely depends on
good weather, whether or not it has a terrace Under the arches of the oldest and how long it gets the bar in the city is a great place sun for. On the other to hang out early evening and hand, the bars in this enjoy speciality drinks and area of town--just a beers. The upstairs balcony is also neat. hundred metres from Where: 2 rue de la Loge, the place Guillaume, Luxembourg-Centre benefit from the summer Info: on Facebook festivals and events that the city hosts. “The Old Town is my playground,” he says. “It has a lot to offer to suit all tastes in a concentrated, beautiful and historic space.” Apart from his own bars, he admits that his favourite terrace has to be at Vinoteca, near the National Museum of Art and History. “It is tucked away and has spectacular views of the valley.”
" THE GREATEST THING ABOUT SUMMER IN LUXEMBOURG IS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAN." MIKE MCQUAIDE Sebastiaan also cites Urban as a place to enjoy Guinness and football--the European Championships are on from 10 June to 10 July and always attract more customers to bars screening matches.
M I KE MCQUAIDE May 2016
FOOTBALL AND BURGERS One punter who will definitely be out and about watching the tournament via live screenings at bars is Irish-Luxembourger SIMON LAROSCHE. The radio journalist with public service broadcaster 100,7 is a self-declared football junkie ROCAS and burger lover. “This summer is all Thriving terrace packed about barbecues and football and I’ll with a younger crowd be on the lookout for the best places listening to summerinfluenced music. to enjoy either of those. I already have Where: place des Bains, my eye on Oscar’s bar in the Grund Luxembourg-Centre to watch the European Championships. Info: on Facebook It has a huge screen on the terrace, good sound, great food and friendly staff. The arrival of summer is always welcome because I love terrace culture.” A DJ--under the name Don Simon--in the evenings, he has a regular ‘Happy Mondays’ slot at Rocas on the place des Bains. “I’m really looking forward to people filling up the terrace and in general to the change of atmosphere in town, seeing people out and about. The Rocas terrace is always heaving when the weather’s good: a summer evening complete with alternative, funky Afrobeat and reggae accompanied by cold, refreshing drinks… what more could you ask for?” Simon also spends time at de Gudde Wëllen and the Buvette at Rotondes. “They are the most alternative places to go in Luxembourg City, and it’s great that we have them. I also love Vins Fins in the Grund for wine and platters.”
Together with his six-year old daughter, Amaya, Simon also likes to bike around town, in the parks and the Grund. “Big up to Luxembourg City for the Vél’oh initiative! I use it all the time. It will be great when the lift down to Pfaffenthal opens this summer, opening up more cycle routes. I live in Belair, right near the Petrusse, which is a lovely, beautiful gorge. We go there a lot and of course to the pirate ship park, which Amaya loves.” Like many others, Simon says he always looks forward to the eve of National Day parties in the streets of the capital city.
DISCOVERING AND SHARING MIKE MCQUAIDE, better known by his Facebook nom-de-plume An American In Luxembourg, is another keen cyclist who loves outdoor festivals. “The greatest thing about summer VIS-À-VIS in Luxembourg is that you don’t Opposite the corner bar, have to plan,” he says. “You can outside the Église Saintjust pass through the city and you Alphonse, this small terrace will chance upon something is handy for pre-show drinks happening. There’s always a stage for the Capucins theatre or the Cinémathèque. being set up somewhere for Where: 2 rue Beaumont, National Day, Schueberfouer, Rock Luxembourg-Centre um Knuedler, marathons, races… Info: on Facebook the list is endless. The Tour de Luxembourg bike stage race is always fun to watch.” Mike and his wife planned to stay in Luxembourg for six months, but three years later they are still enjoying the place. “I was definitely ready for an adventure and I love every single change that has come with it,” says Mike. He has made his living as a journalist and author, writing recreational, travel and cycling guides, and since living in Luxembourg has also taught English. Mike started the An American In Luxembourg Facebook page as a way to keep up with people at home when he left Seattle. “It was a great and easy way to let them know what I’m doing with pictures and little reports. Fairly quickly and overwhelmingly, it became popular with people who live here or who are from here and it now has far more Luxembourgers following it. I think a lot of people follow my page because they like to see their home country through someone else’s eyes.” In the capital, Mike says he never tires of the beautiful views along the Corniche. “I do everything on my bike. In summer things get greener, the days get longer, you can enjoy evening bike rides and the late summer evening light anywhere in the city. Visually, Luxembourg is a very dramatic city. I love going anywhere O BAR The terrace is located on you can get up high and look down the place du Théâtre itself, into the Valley along the Alzette, the which can be annoying if Petrusse, and the trails up along the cars are lining up for the hills in Hesperange. Fränz, my biking underground car park. But partner, and I like hanging out friendly staff and late opening at weekends make at Mesa Verde.” it a nice spot. The vegetarian and fish restaurant Where: 13 place du Théâtre, has a marvellous little terrace under Luxembourg-Centre the tree at the end of the rue du Info: on Facebook St. Esprit, a corner that is also used to
house a stage for concerts during the Fête de la Musique and National Day eve festivities.
YOGA OUTDOORS Yoga instructor and musician, KELSEY HOPPER has yet to perform at either event, but she is a regular singer of jazz, blues and soul at La Boqueria in Kirchberg, with the BUVETTE (ROTONDES) Luxembourg Jazz Combo One of the most spacious and coolest and at the Grund Club. A alternative terrace spaces in the city, classical pianist studying at complete with food truck, basketball the Conservatoire de La Ville hoop and table tennis. Where: 4 rue de la Rotonde, de Luxembourg under Luxembourg-Bonnevoie Madame Rauchs, Kelsey Info: on Facebook arrived in Luxembourg nearly five years ago from the States. “I love it. Luxembourg is a very small place and has its own rhythm. I noticed that fewer students come to my classes when the weather picks up and the sun is out. So I try to take my yoga outside when summer arrives. Last summer I lead yoga classes in the park by the Kyosk in Kirchberg which I will be doing again this year.” The outdoor classes are focused on sun salutations, as they start at 7:30 p.m. as the sun begins to go down. Kelsey insists that there are no restrictions and that anybody can take part. “Yoga can intimidate people but the nice thing about it is that you can always adapt and change it to suit your level.” Last year the UN launched the International Day of Yoga on 21 June, and the park near the Kyosk hosted mass yoga sessions, so look out for events related to that this summer. “I love teaching yoga. May 2016
It’ s getting so big in Luxembourg and it’s great to lead a class out in the evening summer sun.” A mixed crowd of As for her musical career, Kelsey locals and creative types enjoys singing with the Grund Club. gathers on the terrace to chat and watch “The most fun gig is the Sobogusto the world go by. show with the Grund Club Voices. Where: 1 rue du Cimetière, Sometimes we have dance groups Luxembourg-Bonnevoie that come and dance while we sing. Info: www. One of the things they want to do is bounewegerstuff.lu to encourage musicians to write songs and the club puts on many singer-songwriter shows. They’re very fun and casual, individual performances and there’s dinner and drinks to add. Look out for them this summer.” As far as music goes in summer there’s so much going on, but I always look forward to the Blues’n Jazz Rallye. Meanwhile, she will be hanging out at some of her favourite places to enjoy beautiful healthy, vegetarian food such as Ready?! and Happ in Limpertsberg, Lenelife in the Hotel Parc Belle Vue and Nature Elements as well as Café Knoppes at Robin du Lac, which she praises for its great chai latté with almond milk. “I’m very much a hippie,” she admits. She will also be launching a new series of yoga classes in affiliation with the Luxembourg Red Cross and Hariko in Bonnevoie. “Once the Hariko terrace has been built I will use it as an outdoor yoga studio.”
CREATIVE NETWORKING The relatively new artist space in Bonnevoie is also home to an interesting project led by renowned in-house graffiti artist SUMO. As well as running a beginner’s street art workshop at Hariko every month for young people aged under 26, Sumo is mentoring for a collective called Brave Youth. “I never had opportunities like that when I was UPDOWN starting out, to have an exchange Handy for that last drink before with a mentor, share your taking the lift to the Upper experiences and problems and Town, Updown’s terrace has a find solutions together. I was permanent barbecue going and a lively atmosphere. doubtful that there are young Where: 28 montée du Grund, people like that in Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Grund who want to start a business and Info: on Facebook go off on an adventure. I am happy to find out that there are--many!” Brave Youth was founded as a platform to encourage young people to meet and network and start their own projects with an entrepreneurial spirit. It is run by Luxembourg born fashion designer FEYROUZ ASHOURA, KASIA KOLO, originally from Poland, and American native TIFFANY MATOS who has lived in Luxembourg since the age of ten. “There was very little on the agenda in terms of networking that wasn’t corporate or financeoriented,” explains Kasia, who lived in the United States, Slovakia and Austria before landing in Luxembourg. “So we built a creative platform of likeminded people. The most beautiful thing about Brave Youth is that there are no requirements: it speaks to you or it doesn’t. It is a place where you can let your mind run freely.” May 2016
RA, U O H S A Z U FEYRO LO AND SUMO KASIA KO
Tiffany, who joined the group OSCAR’S BAR later, was impressed when she Sunny courtyard terrace is attended a Brave Youth brunch at a great place for lunch (fish and Cathy Goedert last August. “It was chips on a Friday) and will a breath of fresh air. Finally, be packed for the football this summer. a networking event with creative, Where: 9 Bisserwee, dynamic ideas and energy!” Luxembourg-Grund The group has also held networking Info: on Facebook events at venues such as the Buvette at Rotondes that allow guests to feel relaxed and at ease. Its next event is at the Brauerei in Clausen. “The mentoring will be about what obstacles they should be prepared to face, how to deal with failure and rejection,” Feyrouz explains. The girls are looking forward to National Day eve-known to many simply as ‘the Grand Duke’s birthday’-which they describe as “the best party in Europe,” as well as music festivals in the city and Rock-A-Field. Tiffany in particular loves the MeYouZik world music festival in July. “There is such a mix of people and laid back vibe, food and music. I never miss it. Also, the Chocolate House opposite the Grand Duke’s Palace has delicious cakes and a fantastic terrace.” Feyrouz has a preference SCOTT’S PUB for Zanzen--“a very nice Riverside terrace from terrace, with a view of which drinkers can enjoy Gëlle Fra.” And Kasia the iconic view of the Corniche and the Old Town. announces that Brave Youth Where: 4 Bisserwee, is also planning a music Luxembourg-Grund festival in the summer. Info: on Facebook “Watch this space.”
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Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
Photography by SVEN BECKER
s e d i v o r p l a Festiv s k r o w e r fi r indoo Celebrating its 13th edition, the Out Of The Crowd festival was something of a trailblazer in the Grand Duchy. But the humble organisers don’t see themselves as pioneers, they just wanted a festival that was a really cool place to hang out.
ith names like Canadian postpunk heroes Ought and Japan’s jazz-influenced experimentalists Mouse On The Keys on the bill, there is no doubt that 2016’s Out Of The Crowd is living up to its reputation as one of the hippest festivals in Luxembourg. Always held at the Kulturfabrik in Esch--itself a pioneer of alternative venues in the Grand Duchy--the festival has long attracted acts at the outset of promising careers. Guest artists have included the likes of Battles, Minus The Bear, Breton, Other Lives and Tall Ships. The festival is organised by the Schalltot Collective, a bunch of friends who got together in 2002 to put on shows by bands they wanted to see but that no local venue was booking. “When we started out, the concert scene in Luxembourg wasn’t as busy as it is today, so it also was a cool way to meet some people who had more underground tastes in music,” says Schalltot’s Nicolas Przeor, who is best know as the guitarist for one of Luxembourg’s premier alternative rock bands, Mutiny On The Bounty. Przeor explains that the collective works in a very simple way. “It’s all driven by passion, if we like something, we go for it! We never earn any money out of it, so it’s all about the will to do something.” Schalltot has put on shows by the likes of Broken Social Scene, And So I Watch You From Afar, These Arms Are Snakes and The Black Dahlia Murder. But the group’s annual Out Of The Crowd festival is what put it on the map. The inaugural edition in 2004 took place over two days in February, but since then it has taken place in April or late March. But finding a dozen or so international acts to perform on a single day in April, on a date that is chosen a year in advance, is one of the biggest challenges the festival faces, Przeor explains. “We’re not a big summer festival, nor an outdoor thing, so April seemed better--the weather is good but not May 2016
too hot, so people still want to hang out in an indoor venue.” From the outset it was clear that Out Of The Crowd was different. The festival incorporated an art exhibition (though this was dropped last year) and catered to vegetarians and vegans. But Przeor says that Schalltot do not consider themselves pioneers on the local scene. SOMETHING DIFFERENT “There have always been some super cool festivals in Luxembourg, even before we started OOTC. But they were mainly focused on local bands. We wanted something different. From the get-go, we knew we wouldn’t be a huge festival. We’re not looking to find huge headliners. We choose bands we love. It’s just a way to share our passion with other people.” The festival has also helped promote local bands, handing many Luxembourg artists an opportunity to perform in front of a crowd of several hundred critical punters. “I’d like to believe that we have somehow contributed to what today’s Luxembourgish scene is,” says Przeor. “But we know so much has happened over the last 15 years with the opening of Rockhal and Rotondes and so on. For us, it was always important that local bands play our festivals and concerts--we believe the Luxembourg music scene has something cool to offer.” This year’s local artists include internationally acclaimed electronic wizard Sun Glitters (who played the festival in 2012) and Dudelange indie band Tuys. Out Of The Crowd is also continuing a collaboration with Rotondes that started in 2013. Przeor explains that the joint venture
adds a lot to the festival. “First of all, since they organise more shows than we do, they have a really good promotion circle. With [Rotondes concert booker] Marc Hauser we work hard to find the bands we’d like to see and we exchange ideas. It’s really a collaborative thing, as the Rotondes crew works at the festival as well. We always thought collaboration is important, especially in Luxembourg. We’d rather work with a lot of different people in order to grow stronger.” Przeor says it is tough to pick highlights from this year’s line up, but when pressed chooses three personal favourites. Headliners Mouse On The Keys from Japan play a mix of jazz and experimental music but have a very melodic side. “They’re coming to Europe especially for the festival, so it’s kind of an exclusive without any other shows around,” he explains. “Ought from Canada are something else. They play very intense post-punk and have such a charismatic singer, it’s just the kind of band that when you witness them live, your eyes are literally stuck to the stage.” His final pick are good friends Delta Sleep from the UK. “They play a complex kind of rock but it’s catchy as hell--a great band to see live. They put so much heart in what they’re doing!” And it is that which makes the festival so appealing--the artists on the bill are truly representative of the personal tastes of the organisers, and music fans appreciate that passion and honesty. And for under 30 euros to watch 11 bands, the festival is something of a bargain to boot. “We feel super blessed that the festival is celebrating its 13th edition and that, so far, the crowd has followed our tastes and made our small festival a really cool place to hang out.”
" IT’S JUST A WAY TO SHARE OUR PASSION WITH OTHER PEOPLE." NICOLAS PRZEOR (ON THE RIGHT WITH MARC HAUSER)
OUT OF THE CROWD DATE Saturday 30 April Doors at 3:30 p.m. Shows from 4 p.m. ARTISTS Ought: intense Canadian post-punk band with a singer who sounds like Mark E. Smith. Shopping: UK dance-punk trio who played CarréRotondes last year. Mouse On The Keys: experimental jazz-punk outfit from Japan playing an exclusive show at OOTC. RocketNumberNine: London brothers who play entrancing experimental electronic music with live drums and keyboards. Girls Names: Belfast four-piece punk-surf band with four albums under their belts. Delta Sleep: accessible and mesmerising math rock from Brighton. Papier Tigre: funky indie trio from Nantes who have toured the world and played South by Southwest and All Tomorrow’s Parties. Sun Glitters x Aamar: ambient electronic wizardry from one of Luxembourg’s most successful musical exports. AK/DK: experimental but highly groovy live electronica with a hint of Krautrock. Quadrupède: French math rock duo that will appeal to fans of Vessels. Tuys: young but mature indie band from Dudelange. SCHALLTOT COLLECTIVE Nicolas Przeor, Max Nilles, Tom Karier, Claudio Pianini, Davina Scholl, Sacha Schmitz, Cedric Czaika, Nina Schaeffer, Ken Pletschet, Steve De Castro VENUE Centre Culturel Kulturfabrik 116 rue de Luxembourg Esch-sur-Alzette
Info: www.kulturfabrik.lu TICKETS
Text by MARINA LAI
Photography by MARION DESSARD
n a h t e r o M y r e l l a g t r an a 20 year old re for renovations, the Af ter a four month closu rum d’art contemporain reopened its doors Casino Luxembourg - Fo t up with its artistic direc tor. in late March . Delano me
ith the reopening of the Casino Luxembourg - Forum d’art contemporain, visitors can expect a lot of change. Artistic director Kevin Muhlen explains that some changes have been made intentionally so that the gallery is more than just a gallery, it becomes an artistic social hub. “We’ve made a lot of changes to the concept as well as the physical layout of the exhibition space. Casino means ‘meeting place’, we wanted to stay true to that so we’ve really emphasised this in our renovations.” Of note is the BlackBox, a new space dedicated solely to video art. “It’s the 21st century and visual art is clearly here to stay so we’ve given it a permanent space in our gallery.” Aside from visiting new exhibitions, guests can also enjoy a bite to eat or drink at the Ca(fé)sino, a restaurant-café. Then there is the Infolab, a modern and intimate reading room lined with shelves of art books and magazines. Visitors are encouraged to browse the extensive collection which cannot readily be found elsewhere and desks are provided for those who wish to do some work there. Amongst all the physical changes at the gallery, the format sees some changes too. The entire ground floor will be open to the public for free. This allows visitors to enjoy the exhibitions on the ground floor, meet for a coffee at the Ca(fé)sino, before checking out the latest art magazines in the Infolab, without having to pay entry. “The Casino is not just an art gallery; it’s supposed to be a meeting place after all,” says Muhlen. “We’re located right in the heart of the city, you could stop by to wait for someone, enjoy a meal or just come in to take a breather during your day.” The Casino stays open every day until 7 p.m., except Tuesdays, when it is KEVIN MUHLEN: closed, and Thursdays, when it stays CASINO IS A open until 10 p.m. MEETING PLACE Where: 41 rue Notre-Dame, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.casino-luxembourg.lu May 2016
Villa Vauban – Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg 18, av. Émile Reuter L-2090 Luxembourg
The five senses in painting 19 March > 26 June 2016 Herman van Aldewereld (1628/29 – 1669), Allegory of the five senses, 1651, Staatliches Museum Schwerin / Ludwigslust / Güstrow, © photo Christoph Sandig/ARTOTHE
T +352 47 96 49 01 F +352 27 47 84 32 Mon – Sun 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. Fri 10 a.m.– 9 p.m. Tue closed
Text by MARINA LAI
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
In the realms of the sense
3 not to miss
As director of Villa Vauban and of the Luxembourg City History Museum, Danièle Wagener has dedicated much of her career to collecting, preserving and promoting art and culture in Luxembourg.
or the last three decades, Danièle Wagener has been the driving force behind the two museums run by the Ville de Luxembourg, the City History Museum and the Villa Vauban art museum. In person she is approachable, soft-spoken and very charismatic. It’s clear that during her time at Villa Vauban she has left her personal mark on the museum, and maybe the museum has also left its mark on her. Villa Vauban is home to an eclectic collection of art, mainly from private collections of works from the 18th and 19th centuries that were bequeathed to the city. It also borrows works from partner museums and has at its disposal an abundance of masterpieces. Yet its mission is not to appeal to art snobs. On the contrary. “Our mission is to make art as accessible to the public as possible,” Wagener explains. “From the young to the elderly, we believe that detail is key. Most children prefer interaction to reading masses of information, so we provide workshops for children as well as adults. Some visitors may have difficulty using stairs, we make sure that every inch of the exhibiting space is accessible to all. We are very aware that everyone sees differently.” The current exhibition, The Five Senses in Painting, as the name suggests, focuses on elements in art depicting taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch. The senses were represented symbolically and allegorically between the 17th and 19th century. They can all be found throughout the exhibition. “I would like visitors
PICASSO AND ME
The exhibition brings together 15 works by Picasso, and around 40 works by multidisciplinarian Damien Deroubaix. Where: Mudam, Luxembourg-Kirchberg When: until 29 May Info: www.mudam.lu
Four artists of Luxembourg origins with different artistic approaches. Where: ZidounBossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg-Centre When: until 4 September Info: www.zidounbossuyt.com
H. CRAIG HANNA A solo show with the recently acquired Arrangement of Dancers. Hanna “reinterprets the history of European painting.” Where: Musée national d’Histoire et d’Art When: until 26 June Info: www.mnha.lu
to look for these senses as they move through the museum. Whilst some of them are represented more subtly, others become bolder and more crude,” says Wagener. Determined to develop the interest of the visitor, Wagener has chosen the first painting of the exhibition to be Allegory of the five senses by Herman van Aldewereld. “The first painting you see is going to be your guide as you move through the exhibition. The painting contains all five senses in the clearest and most meaningful way. That is your vocabulary for exploring the rest of the artworks.” Where: Villa Vauban, Luxembourg-Centre When: until 26 June Info: www.villavauban.lu
ABSTRACT ART IN THE 1950S
Colourful painter Jacques Nestlé captures sponta neous expres-sionism from the early 50s. Where: Culture Inside Gallery, Luxembourg-Centre When: until 7 May Info: www.cultureinside.com
The AWC-Art Work Circle, Luxembourg’s online platform dedicated to artists and art lovers, showcases 5 artists. Where: House 17, Luxembourg-Centre When: until 15 May Info: www.house17.com
EXPERIENCE BEAUTY THROUGH SOUND This interactive installation by Yuri Suzuki explores the relationship between space, form and sound. Where: Mudam When: 27 April-28 August Info: www.mudam.lu
B&W MEETS COLOR An exhibition of works by one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Elliott Erwitt. Where: Galerie Clairefontaine When: 28 April-4 June Info: www.galerieclairefontaine.lu
Exhibition images provided by the galleries
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HOUSE & HOME
Text by WENDY CASEY
Photography by MARION DESSARD
t e l l u b e h t Bite n e e r g o g d an eco-friendly home. turn your abode into an There are easy ways to ide on how to get started. Here is a step by step gu
ention “green” these days and most of us can talk the talk, some can walk the walk, while others leave a trail of dust in their midst as they sprint the green marathon. Take Daniele Maur, for example. This exceedingly attractive stay at home mum is as green in the home as it’s possible to be, and her tale of enlightenment is particularly inspirational. Born and bred in Dublin, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, back in 2000. Six months of chemo and radiotherapy followed, only for the cancer to return two months later, despite having received the all clear. She was finally back on her feet after a further six months of gruelling, high level chemotherapy, one month of daily radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant to restore those that were destroyed by the high chemo dosage. “My journey down the eco-friendly path started in 2002 once I’d completed the full course of toxic treatment. I decided to change my lifestyle as having been through cancer twice, I’d do anything to avoid going back there again.” And it was at this point that her mother gave her a book called The Choice by Bernadette Bohan, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33. “It’s been my bible for many years.” She started by buying a juicer and a FreshWater stainless steel gravity water filter. “This removes 99.99% of all particles larger than one micron, any chlorine and organic pollutants.” Maur has much to impart on the
sooth sunburn; add 2 tablespoons to 1-2 litres of filtered water and drink throughout the day to cleanse your body and kidneys; and then there’s my favourite remedy to be taken at the first signs of a sore throat--one tablespoon of APC and one tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water.” She is clearly enormously wellinformed. “People might think I’m a bit fanatical,” she muses, “but I didn’t convert overnight”. She’s been researching natural, eco-friendly choices for more than 12 years and says it’s been a very gradual learning process. “It was a domino effect. I looked at drinking water which led to avoiding plastic bottled water. Many plastics are formed from petroleum by-products and contain toxic chemicals which can leach into food and drinks. Some cans are lined with BPA [bisphenol A], an organic synthetic compound linked to numerous health problems.” And when it comes to home cleaning, Maur is very much in favour of good oldfashioned white vinegar, bicarbonate
subject of water: “Clean water is one of the Earth’s most precious and diminishing resources, so don’t run water aimlessly; turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. When showering, collect the cold water [that initially flows] in a bucket and use it to water thirsty garden plants. When rinsing salad, collect the water. Skip a shower from time to time or if you really need a daily shower, keep it short. Don’t run dishwashers or washing machines until they are full; the average clothes wash cycle consumes around 50 litres of water. And if constructing your home, think about installing a well, or a simple rain barrel, which can be used to water the garden and wash the car.”
CHECK INGREDIENTS When it comes to “personal care”, Maur recommends getting to know the ingredients in your shampoos, deodorants and skin creams. “The skin is our largest organ and the chemicals found in these products can be absorbed and make their way into our bloodstream,” she warns. For this reason, Maur prefers brands that are 100% natural and organic. “I take my time and purchase wisely; after all, I’m worth it,” she laughs. One of her favourite home cupboard remedies is apple cider vinegar (APC) which she puts to a variety of different uses: “Fill an empty shampoo bottle with a cup of cold water and a tablespoon of APC and pour it over your hair several times a week after shampooing; rub APC directly onto your teeth to remove stains and then rinse well; add a cup of APC to your bath to
of soda and washing up liquid. “Use washing up liquid on floors, a mix of vinegar and bicarb down blocked sinks, and apply vinegar to taps, showerheads and the innards of kettles to remove limescale.” She also has a word of warning when it comes to selecting paints for internal walls. “Many of today’s paints contain volatile organic compounds, which solidify the paint. The majority of VOCs dissipate as the wall dries, but some can be released into the air for years. VOC-rich air can cause headaches, increase the risk of developing asthma and allergies and may cause long-term health effects and harm to the environment,” one of many reasons why Maur’s recommendation to read labels is most compelling.
GREEN GARDEN Step out into the garden and Fiona Hampton will be the first to advise against reaching for chemical fertilisers and weed killers.
" CLEAN WATER IS ONE OF THE
DANIELE MAUR Conserve water and use natural cleaning & health products around the house
EARTH’S MOST PRECIOUS AND DIMINISHING RESOURCES, SO DON’T RUN WATER AIMLESSLY; TURN OFF THE TAP WHEN BRUSHING YOUR TEETH." May 2016
KAROLINA SZATNA AND BENOÎT SCHMIT Instead of junking old furniture, give pieces a second life
HOUSE & HOME
“I’m enormously eco-friendly,” states Hampton, a gardener, garden designer and self-confessed “Essex girl” who moved to Luxembourg some years ago with her husband. “My approach would be to get rid of the green bin and recycle all waste back into the soil. There’s no need even for a compost heap if you have a reasonably large garden. Simply dig a trench and throw it in, weeds and all. I then add a layer of straw on top to suppress weed growth.” That said, even weeds have their purpose in a garden, she explains. “Dandelions, for example, have very long tap roots which draw minerals from the depths of the soil. Weeds are Mother Nature’s repair system; if a soil is left bare, it would
be lost to erosion. Some spread, some set seed and each fulfills a different function.” She uses certain weeds to make compost “teas” which she feeds to her plants. “I steep nettles in water, and then water the liquid down as feed.” Inspired by her mother who was a really keen gardener, Hampton is fully qualified and recently completed a permaculture course. “Until then I was still using weed killers!” Hampton is a firm believer in home-grown produce since this negates the need for transportation, packaging and provides entirely fresh, great-tasting produce. She has a number of recommendations that many home owners can put in place: “Grow a herb garden; use your
balcony or window sill if necessary and group together herbs that thrive in the same conditions. Plant a vegetable patch and grow what you enjoy eating. I’m always pleased to welcome people at one of my ‘grow your own’ courses so take a look at my website for details. Plant some fruit bushes; they’re relatively low maintenance and the fruit can be picked, frozen and used throughout the year. Place your supermarket-purchased lemon grass in a cup of water to sprout, transfer it to a pot and watch it grow; attract bees into your garden by planting lavender and clovers; bees will pollenate everything in your garden including your fruit bushes. Plant buddleia and milkweed in order to
Kitchen Aménagement and furniture Design Cuisines et Meubles
Don’t hesitate to contact us and allow us to vous advise you for pour your votre futurefutur project. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter et laissez-nous conseiller projet. Come visit our showroom. showroom. Venezand visiter notre 24, route route de de Luxembourg Luxembourg L-7240 L-7240 Bereldange Bereldange www.ml-interiordesign.lu 24, www.ml-interiordesign.lu Tel Tel :: (+352) (+352)26 2633 3328 285252 PUB_ML_Interior_Design_Archiduc042016.indd 1
HOUSE & HOME
attract butterflies and invest in seed-producing plants such as verbena bonariensis to encourage visiting birds.”
FIONA HAMPTON Get rid of the compost heap, weed killers… and the garden waste bin
GREEN CONTACTS CENTRE FOR ECOLOGICAL LEARNING LUXEMBOURG
LÉIF LIFESTYLE ESSENTIALS
SPRING FAIR (23 APRIL – 1 MAY)
Info: on Facebook
UPCYCLE FURNITURE Business partners Benoît Schmit and Karolina Szatna own Léif Lifestyle Essentials, previously known as Ben & Pepper, which continues to be the company name and the name of their own range of products. They make every effort to source locally made furniture and accessories. “We really wanted to find designs crafted by fair trade and small design studios that support the local economies,” says Polish-born Szatna who met Schmit, a Luxembourger, in Brighton over a decade ago. They also pride themselves on providing a high-quality, soft furnishing upcycling service and, to this day, have never had a dissatisfied client. Szatna is happy to explain the process: “Clients send us a picture of their armchair or sofa with a brief description including the size. We provide a free and unbinding quote and then schedule a consultation to look at fabric samples together, to understand how much the item is used and where it will be positioned, so we can help decide on the best fabrics for purpose.” Schmit continues: “We bombard them with ideas. Once we’ve something they really appreciate, I like to come up with another idea that’s completely different and then we work through a process of elimination.” The client receives an invoice detailing the chosen fabric and once an initial payment of 50% has been received, the item is collected from the client’s home free of charge. You can expect to wait six to eight weeks and the finished piece is then returned “with a smile”. “This is the best part of the job,” Schmit enthuses. “One lady had two cocktail chairs and her husband used to put them out onto the pavement for the bin men to collect. He did this five times and his wife always brought them back inside the house and up into the attic once he’d left for work--until we got the project. When I delivered the finished, reupholstered chairs, her husband thought she’d bought new ones. He didn’t recognise them at all.”
Just add sunshine
Opening hours : Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 69, parc d’activités Mamer-Cap • L-8308 Capellen │ Phone : 26 30 30 1
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
Well seasoned festival
Festival International est cultural gatherings, the old ’s urg bo xem Lu certs in the town’s of e On in 1975 with a series of con Echternach was launchedyears later, the festival attracts internationally hts. famous basilica. Some 41well as more local artists. We select a few highlig renowned musicians as
ACCLAIMED ARTISTS Each year the Festival International Echternach features concerts by acclaimed musicians. Among them was Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist who was the festival’s artistic director for some 30 years. Currently Benedikt Fohr and Gast Waltzing are the artistic directors respectively for the classical and jazz programmes. Other famous names who have performed at the festival include jazz legend Benny Goodman, vocal star George Benson, jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and current fan favourite Gregory Porter. Classical musicians attracted to Echternach have included Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovitch, German violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter, Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer and Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman. Info: www.echternachfestival.lu
REINHOLD FRIEDRICH Renowned trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich, accompanied by pianist Bernd Glemser, performs a programme featuring the works of Honegger, Enescu, Beethoven, Hindemith, Pilss, Schubert, Liszt and Höhne. 15 June, Trifolion
MANU KATCHÉ & FRIENDS The French drummer of Ivorian origins made his name with his contribution to Peter Gabriel’s bestselling album So. He has also guested with the likes of Sting and Robbie Robertson. But Katché has since produced a number of solo albums that have featured great guest artists such as Jan Garbarek and Billy Cobham. 16 June, Trifolion
BORODIN QUARTET The Russian quartet has been going for over 70 years when it first formed as the Moscow Conservatoire Quartet with Mstislav Rostropovitch on cello. It had a close relationship with composer Dmitri Shostakovich, whose work features in this concert alongside that of Borodin (after whom the quartet was renamed in 1955) and Tchaikovsky. 17 June, Trifolion
PAUL KAYSERNOSFERATU Paul Kayser, organist at the St. Alphonse church in Luxembourg City and at the St. Willibrord basilica in Echternach, performs a soundtrack to F. W. Murnau’s classic vampire film Nosferatu. 25 June, basilica
THE KING’S SINGERS The world famous King’s Singers, originally from Cambridge University, perform a two-part concert. The first part features English renaissance and German romantic songs by the likes of Byrd, Tallis and Schubert, while the second half focuses on the Great American Songbook. 26 June, basilica
DANIEL MÜLLERSCHOTT The festival’s artist-inresidence, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, performs alongside the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sergej Krylov. The evening’s programme includes Arvydas Malcys’s 2003 piece Milky Way for strings, Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. 30 June, Trifolion
CANDY DULFER Dutch jazz-funk saxophonist Candy Dulfer is most famous for her hit ‘Lily Was Here’, a collaboration with Dave Stewart. She has also performed with Prince and Alan Parsons, but as a solo artist her music veers towards what might cruelly be called “smooth jazz”. 13 July, Echternach abbey courtyard
ELEVENTH HOUSE Jazz fusion outfit Eleventh House was one of the pioneering jazzrock bands of the 1970s. Led by guitarist Larry Coryell, the band recorded a number of albums and toured extensively, including an iconic gig at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Now the band is reunited with Coryell’s son Julian joining original members John Lee, Alphonse Mouzon and Randy Brecker on stage for the festival’s closing show. 15 July, Echternach abbey courtyard
BASILICA AND ABBEY The Echternach abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded by Saint Willibrord, the Northumbrian missionary who died in Echternach in 739. The basilica has had a long and colourful history that has included a number of reconstructions--most recently between 1948 and 1953 following its destruction during the Battle of the Bulge. The basilica’s crypt dates back to the Carolingian era, while frescos are dated from the 14th century. Where: Abbaye d’Echternach Info: www.willibrord.lu
TRIFOLION Built slap bang in the centre of the charming old town, the Trifolion is a five-storey cultural and conference centre that houses a 700-capacity concert hall and a 300-capacity round gallery. Its convention centre has a number of flexible capacity rooms for conferences and meetings. Trifolion is also home of the European Union Baroque Orchestra, the regional music school and the Echternach brass orchestra. Where: 2 porte St. Willibrord, Echternach Info: www.trifolion.lu
Text by MARINA LAI
Photography by SVEN BECKER & LALA LA PHOTO
Bring and buy
conscious , but there are d more environmentallyly lifestyle to the next level an re mo ng mi co be be your eco-friend Luxembourg may ycle than you think . Take many more ways to rec rson’s trash can be another one’s treasure. and find out how one pe
hen Swedish native Frederik Taaveniku came to Luxembourg in 2012 with his family, it didn’t take him long to recognise that, in a country with plenty of expatriates, there would be many people moving out of the country trying to get rid of their old items and many new arrivals searching for affordable second-hand items. “At first I would visit the recycling centre to shift our used goods, but it was not that easy to organise your old items for someone else to use,” he says. What was missing was an opportunity to categorise unwanted items for sale and the ability to browse those categories in order to purchase pre-owned goods. Taking matters into his own hands, Frederik decided to create a fully searchable virtual marketplace, billboard.lu, where buyers and sellers could meet. He opened this up to all pre-owned items, from clothes to cars, and even apartments. As their slogan says, “your best deal is just one click away!” Another budding entrepreneur, Nora Winandy, also spotted an opportunity when she returned to Luxembourg with new eyes after studying business management in Spain. “I noticed that there was a niche. Thrift store shopping and most second-hand shops here are not very specific, there were no stores just for for clothes.” Filling the gap in the market, Nora decided to create First & Second, a second-hand store where she will fix a price of an item with the vendor, and split the sale equally. If it fails to sell within three months it is returned to the owner. “It’s really important that we maintain a certain quality in the store,” says Winandy. “Sometimes I have to turn down pieces if I already know that the brand or style is not something that my customers are looking for.” The store’s walls are lined with designer clothes and accessories ranging from Christian Louboutin shoes to Hermès bags and Hervé Léger dresses. Every rail is exclusively selected by Nora herself. Her priority is authenticity and quality. “I only want to sell items which are wellpreserved or like-new”. This gives her customers the confidence that they can browse her store, knowing that they are getting the best at affordable prices.
BARGAIN BOOKS Avid readers also get plenty of opportunities to stock up on--and get rid of--books in Luxembourg. The book stand of the Bazar International collects and sells books not only at the annual event before May 2016
Christmas, but also at special sales throughout the year. And the British stand also has sales at Top Squash in Sandweiler. More treasures can be found at a second-hand bookshop at the Château de Bourglinster. The Les Amis du Livre non-profit organisation was founded in 1997. The group’s Christiane Krier explains: “We are a group of friends who also happened to be booklovers and would regularly meet. Wherever books could be found, you would find us there!” However, when one of the founding members of the group passed away and left his collection to the group of friends, they came up with an idea. “Our friend had such a large collection and he left it to us, but none of us had the space for it. So we decided that we should share the collection and sell it.” The profits of the books go to associations for those with disabilities. They have a second bookstore in Wiltz, offering the same services. The bookshop is run by volunteers on alternate days at specific times. They accept all second-hand books in English, German, French and Luxembourgish. Standard books are sold at a very reasonable price of €3 per kilo, whilst collectables and rare books are sold according to value. The enthusiastic group works hard to keep the shops in great condition and well organised. “You can find treasures here for such a small price, and when you’re finished you can donate them back to us,” says Krier.
BROWSING AND SELLING If you prefer browsing a physical store over trawling through internet pages, Sell’n Buy Luxembourg is the perfect place. One of the two managing owners, Dany Schneider, explains where the concept came from. “We wanted to do something by ourselves and even though there are some second-hand stores in Luxembourg, they are quite specific or they are only online. So unless you are looking for something in particular, you probably wouldn’t browse.” His store, however, allows owners to rent a shelf or a space in the store for a small price every week. In this space, they can pretty much sell whatever at whatever price they want. Each vendor is given a barcode and there is a selfservice counter where they can label and tag items and set the prices. Store managers are always there if advice is needed on pricing or placement. Once the item has been sold, the system will automatically
IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE MAINTAIN A CERTAIN QUALITY." NORA WINANDY
update the account and vendors can drop in to check their account balance at their convenience. “We wanted to take the hassle out of selling and buying, we offer the space and you can control the rest. Of course, we are there to help you, but you also have the freedom to come in every day to check your stock and bring new stock for your selling shelf or area.” But it is not just individuals selling anything from jewellery to furniture who use the service. “We have customers who over-ordered stock for their shops, or businesses which are closing down, and they bring their stock to sell here. There’s no limit to what you choose to sell!” For one-off options, the monthly Vide-Grenier sales run by the Ville de Luxembourg on the place Guillaume II have proven to be a big hit. They take place on the first Sunday of every month between April and October. And then there’s the granddaddy of them all, the British Ladies Car Boot Sale. A popular tradition in the UK, the members of the BLC have been bringing this colourful event to Luxembourg for the last 24 years. The Car Boot Sale takes place this year on 18 June on the Glacis. Vendors, who must book a space in advance, can sell unwanted second-hand items from a table or their car boot. One of the club’s organisers, Enid Isaac, warns that spaces are limited and this huge event is not to be missed. “There are around 170 vendors this year and thousands will come to buy and sell.” Interestingly, it’s also quite a social gathering: “It’s a great chance to catch up with everyone from the local and international community, you see people you haven’t seen in a while and you meet family members and colleagues. It’s just a great day out.” May 2016
Frederik Faaveniku set up billboard.lu to allow buyers and sellers to meet.
FREE YOUR STUFF LUXEMBOURG
Info: on Facebook SECOND-HAND STORES FIRST & SECOND
Where: 74 avenue Gaston Diederich, Luxembourg-Belair Info: www.first-second.com SELL’N BUY
Where: 19 rue de l’Industrie, Bertrange Info: www.sellnbuy.lu
STAND BAZAR INTERNATIONAL
1st Sunday of month 2-6 p.m. & Thursday 5-7 p.m. Where: Château de Bourglinster, Bourglinster Info: www.bicherfrenn.lu BICHERSTUFF
3rd Sunday of month 2-5:30 p.m. & Thursday 5-7 p.m. Where: Café Prabbeli, 8 rue de la Montagne, Wiltz Info: “Bicherstuff Wolz” on Facebook OUTDOOR SALES
Where: 83 rue de Hollerich, Luxembourg-Hollerich Info: www.troc.com/lu
1st Sunday (April-October) Where: place Guillaume II, Luxembourg-Centre Info: www.vdl.lu
NEI AARBECHT SHOP
Where: 7 rue de l’Alzette, Helmdange Info: on Facebook
CAR BOOT SALE
18 June Where: Glacis car park, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg Info: www.blc.lu
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Medicines - don‘t dispose them in dustbin, toilet or sink ! Use the collection facilities at your pharmacy, the SuperDrecksKëscht® mobile collection and at the recycling centers !
ecologic lacquers and paints - rechargeable batteries and accessories - ecologic detergents - low-energy and durable lighting equipment - ecologic school and office material - rinse-off products
Join us - avoiding waste is a clever alternative and helps you saving money ! LE GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures
Administration de l'environnement
LE GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG
Administration de la gestion de l'eau
Administration de l'environnement
Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures
confédération luxembourgeoise du commerce
commerce commerce transport transport services services
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LE GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG
Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures
Syndicat des Pharmaciens Luxembourgeois
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Text by WENDY CASEY
Photography by JULIEN BECKER
Design festival packs a powerful punch to 22 May, which runs from 27 April ”. y, Cit n sig De of or rat cu ipe rec The opose our own, unique wants the capital to “pr the elderly and understanding local artisans . That includes ideas for
hey say that anything worth having is worth waiting for, and the same must be said of Design City. This innovative, biennial design festival is the brainchild of Anna Loporcaro, curator of Design City and head of artistic events at the modern art museum Mudam. “I was travelling to design festivals in a range of different capital cities and I thought, why doesn’t Luxembourg put on exhibitions like this?” Indeed the City of Luxembourg appreciated the idea to such an extent that they extended a budget and her director agreed to integrate curation of the festival into her job description. This is not just an art exhibition, but a platform on which artists, designers and the public can share, discuss and experiment via a hand-picked selection of installations, performances, conferences, projects and workshops. “It was more a process than a lightbulb that switches on suddenly. I didn’t want to simply copy and paste something I’d already experienced,” Lopocaro explains. “I wanted to try and shape the city, to propose our own, unique recipe.” It clearly tastes delectable. The event has boasted “numerous famous collaborations” with internationally renowned designers and Loporcaro has been invited to both Paris and Milan to talk about Design City Luxembourg.
"INVENTIVE IDEAS" This year’s festival, entitled “Design is (not) art”, opens on 27 April and runs until 22 May. It considers whether it is possible to differentiate design from art and brings together a variety of designers with “inventive ideas” about the function and purpose of design. The festival has been fashioned to stir emotions, provoke creative ideas and to facilitate enriching discussions. “I take a blank page and start writing down my ideas more than a year before the event is scheduled to begin. Even so, I’m always too late,” says Loporcaro, a self-confessed control-freak who manages each element masterfully. Working together with partners Cercle Cité, Casino, Rotondes, Luxembourg Centre for Architecture (LUCA) and the City of Luxembourg “makes the event even more interesting and rich,” she explains, and you can’t help begin to share her passion.
INVENTIVE IDEAS A. Anna Loporcaro: giving designers a platform B. A Search Behind Appearances: design investigation by Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg
DESIGN CITY FESTIVAL INFO Design City Luxembourg Info: www.designcity.lu
How does she keep it fresh? “I always feel a kind of pressure when people ask ‘what’s new this year?’ We try to bring added value, to develop an exhibit with the city and the citizens and not to simply install a sculpture and say ‘wow!’ The designers and creatives keep it fresh; I only give them a platform on which to express themselves.” Among the most popular exhibits and modules to date is the swing Overshoot by Encore Heureux, and the mirrored trash bins by Aurélie Brunet from Wakup studio in 2014. “It helped that the exhibits were located in the park; the swing was joyful and the message was easy to understand. The mirrored bins reflected the beauty of the landscape and actually encouraged people to use them. The swing is now based in Roeser where people can see and appreciate it every day.” When it comes to her favourite modules this year, Loporcaro is the perfect diplomat: “Every project is worth a visit. So many different aspects of design will be displayed that it’s difficult for me to choose one.” She does, however, highlight two exhibitions “that are really connected to our society, beside the urban design experience”. The first entitled Dzigning the TimeLine--A Story of Inclusion considers the daily challenges of the elderly. It looks at creating living spaces geared towards their specific needs and considers, for example the requirements of those suffering from dementia.
This cooperative project was developed by Patrizia Luchetta, president of InClusive by DZIGN, and Jan Glas, a design consultant. In addition, Servivor, a Luxembourg-based company providing care for the elderly, the Comas Design School in Tel Aviv and four designers from Luxembourg have each contributed to Dzigning the TimeLine. When asked what the project meant to the students, they explained that “both as students and as people, the project drastically changed our understanding of the elderly,” which can only be an enormous leap in the right direction.
BEHIND THE SCENES The other, presented by Cercle Cité and In Progress, is titled Designing--Behind the scenes. Local craft meets design. Featuring the work of 12 local designers, it highlights the symbiosis between designers and manufacturers, introduces the professional world of design to the public and aims to raise awareness of Luxembourg’s artisanal world. And Loporcaro’s one wish? “An intern!” she laughs. “No, really, that we can join the Unesco Creative Cities Network and bring Luxembourg to another level; and that something from Design City is exhibited permanently in the City of Luxembourg.”
VENUES Mudam Info: www.mudam.lu Casino Luxembourg Info: www.casino-luxembourg.lu Cercle Cité Info: www.cerclecite.lu Rotondes Info: www.rotondes.lu MORE DETAILS City of Luxembourg Info: www.vdl.lu Comas Design School Info: www.colman.ac.il InClusive by DZIGN Info: www.msdesign.lu Luxembourg Centre for Architecture Info: www.luca.lu Unesco Creative Cities Network Info: www.unesco.org Wakup Info: www.wakupstudio.com
Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg
Text by DUNCAN ROBERTS
14 shows you must see
LIKE A JAZZ MACHINE Acclaimed festival Dudelange is undoubtedly Luxembourg’s premier jazz town. The annual Like a Jazz Machine festival sees some 16 acts, including Fred Wesley, play over four nights--a veritable celebration of the genre that attracts contemporary and experimental and classic artists from Luxembourg and around the world. Where: opderschmelz, Dudelange When: 5-8 May Tickets: www.jazzmachine.lu May 2016
LIVE CINEMA Murnau’s Faust Roger Ebert called the director of Nosferatu “the greatest master of horror in the silent era”. Friedrich Murnau’s take on Wolfgang Goethe’s Faust, made in 1926, has “majestic opening scenes and a horrifying conclusion” says Ebert. The film, starring the great Emil Jannings as Mephisto, is accompanied by a score composed and played by pianist Jean-François Zygel. Where: Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg When: 25 April Tickets: www.philharmonie.lu
A-HA Comeback again The Norwegian band released its tenth studio album, Cast in Steel, last autumn, some 30 years after they hit the big time with ‘Take On Me’. Fronted by the still handsome Morten Harket, the band will perform tracks off the new album--“their strongest record since their first comeback in 2000” according to HTF magazine--as well as the well-known hits. Where: Rockhal, Esch-Belval When: 27 April Tickets: www.rockhal.lu
BIRDY Coming of age A multiple award winner and still not yet 20, Birdy (aka Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Van den Bogaerde) released her third album, Beautiful Lies, at the end of March. She made her name at the tender age of 15 with her cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’, and two years later played den Atelier on a tour for her acclaimed second album Fire Within. Where: den Atelier, Luxembourg-Gare When: 29 April Tickets: www.atelier.lu
JOHN CLEESE Memoir tales The comedy legend is on tour with his autobiography, So, Anyway..., which recalls a career that has spanned half a century, from the early days of the Cambridge Footlights Review, The Frost Report, via Monty Python to perhaps his greatest creation, Basil Fawlty. The audience even gets a chance to put questions to Cleese in the second half of the show. Where: Rockhal, Esch-Belval When: 6 May Tickets: www.atelier.lu
24 HEURES ÉLECTRONIQUES Listen and learn The day programme features workshops for pros and children, and artist talks by the likes of local hero Sun Glitters. The evening line-up includes Belgian DJ-producer Charlotte de Witte (pictured), Dutch outfit Binkbeats and, from Luxembourg, Hokube, as well as the exciting pairing of electro artist Chook and vibraphonist Pascal Schumacher. Entrance is free. Where: Rockhal, Esch-Belval When: 7 May Tickets: www.rockhal.lu
DAVID DUCHOVNY Hearty outbursts The X Files star is on tour with his debut album, Hell or Highwater, which “leans towards hearty folk-rock, with ample guitar outbursts” according to the New York Daily News. Duchovny wrote the music and lyrics--he learned guitar and has a penchant for poetry--and the result is “sullen, inward, and broken, with a character redeemed by a dark charm.” Where: Rockhal, Esch-Belval When: 8 May Tickets: www.rockhal.lu
Ivana Klickovic Jens Oellermann Zeng Qiang Marlene Soares
ine tivals--Like a Jazz Mach nth . mo s The last of the indoor fes thi ts gh hli hig o tw -are and 24h Électroniques- of innovative art from the likes nty ple o als is re the t and Bu rs at the Grand Théâtre of guest choreographe performers at the Phil.
JEAN MULLER Local star Award-winning local pianist Jean Muller plays a recital featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Brahms’s 1st Piano Sonata. as well as more contemporary works such as Spanish composer Iván Boumans’s Barcarolle No.3 and two etudes by Hungarian composer György Ligeti. Muller, graduate of the Luxembourg City conservatoire, is a versatile performer well worth hearing. Where: Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg When: 9 May Tickets: www.philharmonie.lu
SHEN WEI Endlessly inventive Chinese choreographer Shen Wei, who created part of the Beijing Olympic opening ceremonies, brings to Luxembourg two of his most important works. Map uses Steve Reich’s Desert Music for a circular themed dance that has been called “wonderfully whim sical” and “endlessly inventive” by The Washington Post, while Folding is a mesmerizing, subtle and slow work. Where: Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg When: 11 & 12 May Tickets: www.theatres.lu
ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER Beauty transfigured Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker brings to Luxembourg her “shamelessly romantic” work Verklärte Nacht, which is her response to Arnold Schönberg’s Transfigured Night. The work is based on Richard Dehmel’s poem about a love triangle involving an unborn child. The choreographer grasps the intricacies of the narrative to create a work of beauty. Where: Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg-Limpertsberg When: 24 May Tickets: www.theatres.lu
GET WELL SOON Sublime German musician Konstantin Gropper has been making sublime pop music for a decade now and has just released his fourth album as Get Well Soon. The new record, Love, sees Gropper reeling in his rich baritone voice to that of an understated narrator on gorgeous lead track ‘It’s Love’ (incidentally featuring the great Udo Kier in the accompanying video), and maturing as a songwriter. Where: Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie When: 29 May Tickets: www.atelier.lu
BOSTON SYMPHONY Mahler masterpiece Andris Nelsons conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra, of which he is musical director, playing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.9. The work, Mahler’s last symphony, has been called the composer’s greatest achievement. The symphony, in four movements, inspired Alban Berg to say that it “expresses an extraordinary love of the earth, for nature.” Where: Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg When: 12 May Tickets: www.philharmonie.lu
CAMERON CARPENTER Hollywood-Manhattan Cameron Carpenter describes himself as “smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music.” His work is certainly refreshing and often fantastical. Here he plays with the OPL, conducted by Alexander Shelley, one of his own compositions, The Scandal. The programme also features, two works by John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine and City Noir. Where: Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg When: 13 May Tickets: www.philharmonie.lu
CATE LE BON Beauty in Welsh born singer songwriter Cate Le Bon’s career has really taken off since moving to Los Angeles. She has released her fourth album, Crab Day, and is touring extensively this summer with slots at major festivals. She says the album was “lovingly formed in the mouth of the Pacific Ocean.” Pitchfork says lead track ‘Wonderful’ acutely captures a “sense of disintegrating stability”. Where: Rotondes, Luxembourg-Bonnevoie When: 2 June Tickets: www.rotondes.lu May 2016
Text by WENDY WINN
t h g i r e h t e b y It Ma ! s m u e s u m r o f month FAMILY GOES UNDERGROUND You’ll need a flashlight even though this tour on 24 April starts at 2 p.m., because you’re going deep down into the twists and turns of Luxembourg’s fortress. Register for this family tour by 15 April. Info: www.lcto.lu GETTING THERE’S HALF THE FUN One Sunday a month, including 1 May, take the Jangeli train to the museum in Haut-Martelange, where you can learn about the region’s mining activities and more. Book early. Info: www.ardoise.lu
id you know there are seven museums within the city limits? And that anyone under the age of 21 can go to them for free? If that doesn’t make you smile, going from one museum to another following a prescribed itinerary will… because the one-mile route forms the curved line of a smile on the map, hence the name Museumsmile (www.museumsmile.lu). To entice people to discover the museums, the city hosts several big events a year, including the “Invitation to the Museums” weekend, when entrance to all of them is free for everyone, not just people under the age of 21 and students. May 2016
This year’s event takes place on 21 and 22 May (www.visitluxembourg.com). In addition, there’s “International Museum Day” on 18 May (www.icom.museum), when museums around the world and in this area will be holding special events. Now if that sounds good on paper, but the reality of getting reluctant kids in the car or on the bus is daunting, you can begin your museum tour right at home (www.luxembourg.public.lu and search for “Museums”) to make sure your gameplay’s a masterpiece. The site gives you a good idea of what is offered at each museum, not only in the capital city but in the whole country. Check by category and you’re sure to find some gems--like the Hihof Prehistoric Museum in a medieval building in Echternach listed in the “Geological museums” section, or the National Resistance Museum in Esch listed under “History museums”. Let your kids help choose your itinerary, and even if it doesn’t form a curved line on the map, it’s sure to make them smile.
NIGHT OF THE CATHEDRALS This year’s open night on 21 May will be extra special: Notre-Dame celebrates the 400th anniversary of its foundation stone being set in place. Info: www.visitluxembourg.com UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE DAY Luxembourg’s fortress is a world heritage site and there are plenty of other historical gems here and in Trier, which will offer special activities on 5 June. Luxembourg City Info: www.lcto.lu Trier info: www.trier-info.de
Jessica Theis (archives)
Why not whet their appetite by watching Night at the Museum and then going online to start hunting for some family favourites? You won’t find a real-life Theodore Roosevelt or Amelia Earhart like in the film, but you can find a stuffed woolly mammoth, WWII soldiers’ diaries, antique cars, modern paintings and more by visiting great museums in the Grand Duchy.
DON’T BE SHEEPISH Head out to the Robbes scheier tourist centre from 14 to 29 May for “Sheep Week”. See sheep get washed and shorn, and make felt from their wool. Info: www.robbesscheier.lu
Text by MARINA LAI
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
Keeping fit and making friends A Venezuelan resident
shares some favourite sp
ort y spots .
Alvaro Baudet has lived in Luxembourg for the past six years. Having grown up in Venezuela and studied and worked in Sweden, he’s become pretty good at being an expat. He’s taken to life in Luxembourg like a duck to water and credits his sport ethic for why he’s settling in so well. And he believes that by making time for sport, he performs better in all the other aspects of his life. “No matter what your job is or who you are, when you meet in a sports environment, all that matters is your team spirit.”
MY FAVOURITES MOUNTAIN BIKING Alvaro thinks it’s extremely important to have a sport which allows him to be independent. “I can just take my bike and go. I live near Bambësch so it’s easy to just wake up early and spend a couple of hours there on a Saturday morning.” Despite being a relatively small forest, Alvaro says: “It’s large enough that you get variety on your track and the different terrains give you different speeds and rhythms. Yet it’s small enough that you will always find your way out.” Seeking both variety and adventure in his sport routine, Bambësch forest is perfect, as “it looks different every time I go there. My favourite time is actually spring; things start turning green and colourful little flowers start poking out.” Where: Bambësch forest Info: www.vdl.lu May 2016
ROCK CLIMBING When he’s not working at Ernst & Young, Alvaro can be found rock climbing. “Unlike other sports, you can progress really quickly.” Perhaps he likes the idea of putting his own life in someone else’s hands and then doing the same for the other person. “You can’t rock climb without a partner. It’s a real bond that you build together. When your partner sees you struggling or that you need more rope, it’s up to him or her to help you. You learn to read each other very well.” He says: “Start indoor training at d’Coque first, but when the weather is nice, nothing beats an outdoor climb. No matter what level you are, you’ll still enjoy it.” Where: Berdorf Info: www.climbing.lu
FOOTBALL The most sociable of all his hobbies, football is one of Alvaro’s favourite places to meet people. “There’s astroturf pitches outside the International School. I’ll usually get a few friends together to play seven-aside.” Having played for 15 years, he appreciates the team spirit. “Only your skills matter. You could be the CEO of the biggest company but that won’t help you on the pitch.” This is a popular spot for expats, Alvaro explains, so “you can just show up with a couple of people and find another team to play against you. It’s such a good atmosphere there, you’re bound to have met someone new by the end of the game.” Where: International School of Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Hollerich
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delano magazine may 2016, undestanding luxembourg, current affairs, business, lifestyle, culture