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OCTOBER 2012

UNDERSTANDING LUXEMBOURG

CURRENT AFFAIRS • BUSINESS • LIFESTYLE

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

TEN START-UPS TO WATCH

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LUXEMBOURG NATIONALITY -

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Even in her most joyous moment, her marriage to a highly eligible prince in a fairy-tale city, it is difficult not to feel some sympathy for Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. Thrust into the spotlight upon the official announcement of her engagement to Crown Prince Guillaume, the future Grand Duchess has had to endure not only the attention for royal watchers around Europe but has also unwittingly been the centre of renewed debate over the nationality law. And amidst all that she suffered the desperate loss of her mother. Stéphanie has stepped into a family that is closely guarded and very controlled in its dealings with the press. Since the engagement announcement in April, photos of the Countess alone have been noticeably absent from the media. The official photos of her shyly clinging to Guillaume, head inclined into his shoulder, are reminiscent of a more famous royal engagement some 31 years ago. But it is already clear that Stéphanie will not be allowed the same indulgences as Princess Diana; she will not become an icon but will perform her duties with restrained dignity. As monarchy expert Pierre Dillenburg says, she has received an education that suits her future role. The local media plays along with the family’s wishes for restraint, which is a

reflection of the Luxembourg public’s attitude to the monarchy. When her children were younger, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa used to take them to the Utopolis to watch a film and she queued up like everyone else to purchase popcorn and drinks. Fellow cinema-goers respected their privacy. Nevertheless, Stéphanie will come under scrutiny just as her mother-in-law did. Luxembourg is small, rumours spread quickly and though largely ignored by the local media they are often picked up by foreign sensationalist titles and sometimes they hit home. In 2002 an under-fire Maria Teresa invited local editors-in-chief to an impressively frank but off-the-record discussion in which she addressed stories that had circulated about her private life. She is now a popular public figure, praised for her charity support and work as a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children. Stéphanie is an educated woman with a knack for languages. She will undoubtedly find learning Luxembourgish a breeze--and addressing Luxembourgers in their language is half the battle to winning their hearts. Despite what appears to be early reticence, and just natural shyness, she might yet come to enjoy the spotlight under which she has been cast.

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CONTENTS

CURRENT AFFAIRS

LIFESTYLE 10

50

OCTOBER 2012 Pink show of strength

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Luxembourg

Touching moments

14

International community marks milestones and raises funds 12

WELLNESS

56

THEATRE NEWS

Actors Rep to hit Luxembourg boards 58

DIVERSITY CHARTER

ON STAGE

Big month for jazz

Why inclusiveness can pay off 18

54

11 ways to beat the autumn blues

62

EUROPEAN SCHOOL II

KIDS

Five Halloween treats

Winter of discontent ahead? 22

JEAN ASSELBORN

REGULARS

Behind the Security Council bid 24

CA(FÉ)SINO

Pop-up café and art project

BUSINESS

36

42 THINK LOCAL

Patrik Bitomský Why he’s not happy with the Czech government.

Ten start-ups to watch

A three dimensional look at Luxembourg entrepreneurs 28

HOT NETWORKING

British and Irish chambers 30

OFFICE RENTS FLAT

Will prices remain stagnant? 32

34

66

BEHIND FRANCE

Luxembourg less competitive

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Navigate the region’s airports

COVERSTORY

MY OTHER LIFE

LUXEMBOURG NATIONALITY: a new law granting Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy special dispensation to obtain Luxembourg citizenship on her wedding day has sparked renewed debate.

How the former chef found his inner clown.

Lucien Elsen

OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS OFFICE ROMANCE? NEE MERCI Luxembourg workers are among the least likely to start an office romance, according to Randstad’s latest Global Workmonitor survey. Just 36% of respondents in Luxembourg said an office romance occurs from time to time, and 42% are opposed to a workplace fling. In addition a table-topping 65% of local workers believe an office romance interferes negatively with work performance.

NASKE TO VIENNA

FRIENDS WITH MYANMAR On July 31 in Brussels, Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn and Myanmar ambassador to the EU Thant Kyaw signed an accord establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. www.mae.lu

LIVEABLE LUXEMBOURG Luxembourg City was named the 25th “most liveable city” in the world by the Livability Ranking survey, which is produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The capital held the same position last year. Luxembourg beat London and all US cities, while Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver topped the list.

8

NOT MUCH BETTER AT CONTRÔLE TECHNIQUE

THE TAXI REVOLUTION

Promised improvements at the Sandweiler Société Nationale de Contrôle Technique station have failed to materialise just weeks after the introduction of extended opening times. Thirteen extra inspection staff and a larger facility were also supposed to make the experience more pleasant. The SNCT also upgraded its website to allow appointments to be made online. Indeed, so confident was the company of its new improvements that it even pledged that drivers not seen within 15 minutes of their appointment would receive a discount. But early September brought the now familiar sight of long lines of vehicles queuing to enter the station. SNCT director Armand Biberich blamed the queues on the fact that cars purchased during the annual auto festival three and a half years ago now had to undergo their first inspection and that drivers returning from holiday wanted to get their vehicle checked before the school holidays began. www.snct.lu

Luxembourg’s taxi operators have been shaken up by a concerted effort from mayor Xavier Bettel, the Automobile Club and private investors who have recognised that business travelers, shoppers and night owls want a cheaper, more efficient and more ecological service. Voyages Emile Weber and Taxi Benelux launched a Webtaxi service (www. webtaxi.lu), the ACL is offering members a Yellowcab (www.yellowcab.lu), the Ville de Luxembourg is promoting Ecolabel taxis and the Genii Group (in conjunction with ACL) also presented its MetroCab hybrid taxi.

“I JUST KNOW THAT I DID NOTHING WRONG” FRANK SCHLECK

David Laurent/Wide

Creative commons

The director of the Philharmonie has announced that he will take over at the Konzerthauses Wien in his native Austria in July next year. So far there has been no word of a successor in Luxembourg, where he has been head of the concert house since 2003, two years before it opened. www.philharmonie.lu

OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

LUXEMBOURG ROSE WINS IRISH HEARTS

FOOTBALL STADIUM

Steve Eastwood

The Luxembourg Football Federation (FLF) has reiterated its call for a new national football stadium. A delegation led by FLF president Paul Philipp presented prime minister JeanClaude Juncker with a petition bearing “in the name of all 106 clubs and 35,000 licensed players” demanding that the government to come up with a solution to the current impasse over a new stadium. The Josy Barthel stadium on the route d’Arlon has been deemed inadequate to host major matches (even though it was used to stage the recent World Cup qualifier between Luxembourg and Portugal). Plans for a new stadium and integrated shopping centre at Livange were put on hold following controversy surrounding its developers.

CHILD CARE COSTS RISE FOR TOP EARNERS Parents who earn more than 3.5 times the minimum wage faced a price hike of as much as one euro per hour for child care costs as of the beginning of September. The increase is a result of a revision of the chèques-services subsidies, as the government looked to make savings of some eight million euros. Introduced in 2009, the subsidies were aimed at giving working parents a helping hand with child-care costs and eventually provide free child care. But the system faced criticism from the start as some facilities received a flood of new applications for places.

“Realistically we could have free child-care in 5 to 6 years for all children in Luxembourg”

SCHMIT STAYING PUT

MARIE-JOSÉE JACOBS, MAY 2009

FLIGHT INSURANCE OPTIONAL

Neuwieser/Creative Commons

Speculation that employment and immigration minister Nicolas Schmit was about to quit government has been put on hold, for the moment. Schmit, who enjoyed something of an annus horribilis in 2011, had not categorically denied the rumours when pressed by journalists. Rumours circulating since early summer suggested that Schmit would be offered the job of ambassador to France were quashed by news that Paul Duhr had been given the role as Luxembourg’s representative in Paris. Duhr was one of 11 new ambassadors named by the foreign ministry on September 4.

At the 11th time of trying, a Luxembourg representative has been crowned the Rose of Tralee. Nicola McEvoy, a 26-year old Cork native who teaches at the European School, delighted the live audience at Tralee, as well as millions of television viewers by giving host Dáithí Ó Sé, three kisses in the Luxembourg fashion and then singing charming version of La Vie en Rose. Nicola will be travelling around the globe as the Rose. She already has trips planned to Washington for St. Patrick’s Day and to Calcutta as an ambassador for the Hope foundation, which works with street and slum children in the India city. Nicola clearly loves representing Luxembourg. “The whole of Ireland knows about Luxembourg now. The Irish Journal even published an article titled ‘The Rose of Tralee and 7 other things Luxembourg has given us’, so everyone was talking about Luxembourg. And they know that we kiss three times.” Her supporters even took dozens of Luxembourg flags to Tralee and ended up giving them all away. “Nicola has put Luxembourg on the map, big time,” says Deirdre Ecock, president of the Luxembourg Rose of Tralee committee. www.rose.lu

Posted air tickets need to reflect the “final price” and “optional supplements” such as cancellation insurance must be sold on an opt-in--not an opt-out--basis, the EU’s highest court has ruled. The decision stems from a case brought in the Köln Higher Regional Court by the German consumer protection association BVV against online travel portal ebookers.com Deutschland. BVV had complained that the website was automatically adding flight cancellation insurance into the price of its airfares. Customers had to click through several steps to reject the insurance and recalculate the cost of just the airline ticket. The German court asked the European Court of Justice in Kirchberg if such practices went against the EU consumer protection law requiring “transparency with regard to the prices for air services.” The ECJ has said that it does, and such add-ons “must be on an opt-in basis.” OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS From left: Graham Goodhew, Steve Karier and Stuart Rowlands Rugby Club Luxembourg’s annual gala ball

James Hancock and Gabriella Hancock Nobile

Rugby Club Luxembourg Dave Evans and Iris Straube

Best of...

SUMMER COMMUNITY

Cynthia Albrecht-Lelliott, MBE and honorary vice president of the British Ladies Club, at the group’s diamond jubilee gala

Since our last edition, Luxembourg’s international community took advantage of the warmer weather to celebrate milestones and to raise money for worthy causes. In June, players and supporters attended the Rugby Club Luxembourg’s much anticipated annual fête (photographed by Jessica Theis) and the British Ladies Club celebrated Queen Elisabeth II’s 60 years on the throne (photographed by Charles Caratini). Americans and friends of the US gathered for an Independence Day BBQ in July (photographed by Luc Deflorenne) and in August Kick Cancer Into Touch held its 11th annual touch rugby charity tournament to benefit cancer care (photographed by Steve Eastwood). Here are just a few of the highlights. More photos from all these events are available at www.delano.lu. AG

More than 100 players and supporters attended the rugby gala evening

From left: George Bush, US embassy chargé d’affaires David Fetter, British ambassador Alice Walpole, Haley and Robert Newkirk

British Ladies Club

Kylie Morrison and Sandra Von Esebeck

10

From left: Moira Hogg, Dennis and Margo Robertson, David Robertson, Luc de Vet, and Anna Rohrs

OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS Connie Gomez, president of the American Women’s Club Luxembourg (left) Janice Allgrove and Robert Mandell, the US ambassador to the Grand Duchy, at the July 4th BBQ

Karl Horsburgh (left), Patrick Birden (second from right), Romain Reinard (right)

Independence Day BBQ

The American and Luxembourgish national anthems were played during the July 4th BBQ

From left: Ian Buchanan, Tessa Montague, Hayley Montague and Joe Lister

KCIT earns a touchdown against the Golden Ladies at the touch tourney

Kick Cancer Into Touch

Oscar and Ellis Bloomer getting face painted, and Susi Lutgen

The Pink Ladies team

Sophie Boyle and Miriam Kouao at the touch tourney

OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Diversity

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

LUXEMBOURG RESIDENTS BY CITIZENSHIP In 2011, 57% of the Grand Duchy’s inhabitants were Luxembourgers and 43% were foreigners, new figures from STATEC show. Here are the top 25 nationalities:

1

2

82,363 Portugal

3 4 5 6 7

31,456 France 18,059 Italy 16,926 Belgium 12,049 Germany 5,471 UK

8

3,891 Netherlands

9

3,814 Montenegro

10

3,657 Spain

11

2,709 Poland

12

2,472 Cape Verde

13

2,261 Bosnia-Herzegovina

14

2,161 Serbia

15

1,964 Denmark

16

1,720 Sweden

17

1,610 China

18

1,589 Romania

19

1,541 Greece

20

1,325 Ireland

21

1,324 Kosovo

22

1,295 US

23

1,203 Brazil

24

1,077 Finland

25

935 Hungary

12

T

he first signatories of the Luxembourg Diversity Charter have pledged to “act in favour of promoting diversity with concrete actions going beyond their legal obligations and non-discrimination regulations.” The family and integration ministry, Deutsche Bank, PwC, RBC Investor Services and Sodexo all inked the accord at an official ceremony last month. The charter is an initiative of IMS Luxembourg, a five year old CSR-focused business association. In addition to the signatories, the effort is being backed by the American Chamber of Commerce, European Commission and Luxembourg employers’ federation UEL. IMS Luxembourg argues that employers needs to address factors such as socioeconomic changes, longer lifespans and careers, and an increasingly globalised population--particularly in an international place like the Grand Duchy and Greater Region--to keep up with changing economic realities. Gender, race, age, ethnicity, disability, language, religion, political opinions and sexual orientation-among other diversity issues-are included in the project. Companies that sign the charter promise to fight discrimination and promote diversity within their ranks, to incorporate these principles in their long-term management plan, and to make public progress reports on a regu-

Council of the European Union (archives)

Several Luxembourg firms have vowed to be more inclusive. Is it the key to Europe’s demographic challenges?

291,832 Luxembourg

MARIE-JOSÉE JACOBS Diversity has social and economic consequences

lar basis. In return, organisers provide a number of best practice tools and practical support. IMS Luxembourg notes that similar diversity charters have already been set-up in countries like Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Poland, where “feedback on their experience is positive,” a spokeswoman for the association informs Delano. “I am very proud to be the ‘honorary chair’ of the Charte de la Diversité Lëtzebuerg,” Marie-Josée Jacobs, the family and integration minister, tells the press. “This initiative is welcome in Luxembourg because it bears witness, notably, to the voluntary engagement on the part of companies to promote and in favour of diversity.” She adds: “Too often, diversity is ignored. This of course has an impact on social cohesion as well as the degree of innovation and performance of the country.” IMS Luxembourg says that it is actively recruiting more firms to sign the pledge. www.chartediversite.lu

OCTOBER 2012

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COVERSTORY

Nationality law

ROYAL SPARK DEBAT NATIO REQUI RON TUFFEL

Teacher at the International School of Luxembourg, presenter on Radio Ara and musician with Sneaky Pete

Been in Luxembourg: 34 years Luxembourg: “I’m very happy and it is truly home for me.” The royal wedding: “We’re international and it’s a beautiful thing that our Crown Prince is marrying a woman who isn’t Luxembourgish.” Follow Sneaky Pete on Facebook

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COVERSTORY

AL EXEMPTION RKS RENEWED ATE OVER IONALITY UIREMENTS

The marriage of Crown Prince Guillaume with Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy should be a cause for national celebrations. Guillaume was one of the last eligible heirs to the throne in Europe, so his impending nuptials have sparked interest from beyond Luxembourg’s borders. But the hurried introduction of a new law granting the countess special dispensation to obtain Luxembourg nationality on the day of her wedding has renewed the debate about the dual nationality law introduced in 2008.

Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Olivier Minaire

O

n October 19, when she weds her prince in Luxembourg town hall, Stéphanie de Lannoy will become a Luxembourger. Thanks to the current dual nationality law, she will not even have to surrender her Belgian passport. The countess will be added to the growing number of new Luxembourgers--some 11,470 between 2009 and 2011 alone--who have taken up nationality since the law was introduced at the end of 2008. However, those new Luxembourgers usually have to fulfil a number of criteria from which the countess has been exempted. They need to have lived in Luxembourg uninterrupted for seven years--and not have been sentenced to a prison term of one year or more in that time-are required to pass a language test and must also attend “civics” classes in which they learn (but are not tested) about Luxembourg institutions, the political system and local law. The exemption granted the countess was inevitably latched on to by political parties

and lobby groups who had criticised the nationality law four years ago. “Some animals are more equal than others,” wrote Déi Lénk in a statement quoting George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The left-wing party accuses the government of propagating a “two tier society” and questions why national law should not apply to the countess. Déi Gréng took a more proactive approach, calling on the government to use the occasion to overhaul the nationality law. “Soon every second person who lives and works in Luxembourg will not be in possession of Luxembourg nationality,” says its parliamentary faction leader François Bausch. “We must give people more of an opportunity to participate fully in civic and political life.” What irks the opposition is that the current law on the one hand gave foreign residents the opportunity to take up Luxembourg nationality without having to surrender their existing passport, while on the other it also made it harder for them to obtain that preOCTOBER 2012

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COVERSTORY

Revision under consideration Justice minister François Biltgen points to those 11,000 new Luxembourgers and says that the nationality law has been “a success.” However, he has acknowledged that the law requires some reform to make easier the process of attaining nationality. He says he is open to discussing the residence eligibility clause, and that the seven years currently required may in future not have to be successive. The language test is another area that could be revised. And a reintroduction of automatic nationality eligibility for people who marry a Luxembourger is also under consideration. Luxembourg is, of course, in a unique situation. Latest figures show that over 43 percent of the total population of the Grand Duchy is non-Luxembourgish, and in some towns and cities, such as the capital, that rises to way above 50 percent. And while the dual nationality law was purportedly introduced to ease the passage of those who wanted to become Luxembourgish, there is actually very little incentive for the vast majority (86 percent) of foreign residents to take up that offer because they are nationals of another European Union member state and thus enjoy many of the same rights as their Luxembourg counterparts. Indeed, Luxembourg is one of only six EU members--alongside Ireland, Belgium, Cyprus, Slovakia and Hungary--where the number of foreign citizens who are from another EU country exceeds that of thirdcountry nationals. The only practical advantage of becoming a Luxembourger for an EU national is that it grants them the right to vote in national parliament elections. Many longer-term residents who have spent the majority of their life in the Grand Duchy and feel a true affinity with the country may nevertheless choose to become a national of their adopted country. But what does being a Luxembourger even mean? The country after

16

AYSEN PAETZEL

JESSICA WALSH-LAMPEITL

Currently unemployed

Fitness instructor

Been in Luxembourg: 4 years Luxembourg: “It’s not that different to my previous home of Düsseldorf. We quickly built up a circle of friends who were in a similar situation. I also have Luxembourg friends--Luxembourgers are not just a myth--and they bring the country a bit closer.” Royal wedding: “It’s a cool event for Luxembourg, two days of celebration. But I am sad that it is not a public holiday.”

Been in Luxembourg: 16 years Luxembourg: “I’ve always loved it and its great having kids in the local school system, but I am starting to get a bit homesick.” The royal wedding: “I am not a fan of royals, so haven’t really been following it.” www.jessboxing.com

all has a long history of being under foreign sovereignty, which is the preferred term for the successive waves of rule by military powers before Luxembourg gained independence in 1867--the term occupation is specifically reserved for the period from 1940-1944 when Nazi invaders controlled the country. Successive foreign sovereignty under the Bourbons, the Spaniards, Austrians, French, Dutch and Prussians all left their mark on the country and its population. After independence was secured in 1867, a wave of more welcome immigrants, mostly Italians and Germans, arrived to work in the iron ore mines and steel works. Many of the Italians stayed and settled, particularly in the south of the country. Yet while latter generations of those Italians are now Luxembourgers, many of them are caught between a natural affinity for the country of their birth and the strong link they retain to the language and culture of Italy. After WWII Luxembourg enjoyed a new wave of immigration. Swathes of bureaucrats from other member states arrived to work in the institutions of the EU and its forerunners. Many Eurocrats stay in Luxembourg for their entire career, and although there is a trend among many to retire in their country of origin or to move to sunnier climes, many still retain a connection with Luxembourg. Indeed,

Cour grand-ducale/Christian Aschman

cious piece of paper. The residency requirement was extended from five to seven years and the introduction of a language test was seen by many to be superfluous when Luxembourg has three official languages. In addition, foreigners who married a Luxembourger were no longer automatically eligible for nationality. Stéphanie’s future mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, became a Luxembourger in February 1981, when she married the then Prince Henri, because the law at the time permitted it, not because she received an exemption.

The happy couple: STÉPHANIE DE LANNOY will attain Luxembourg nationality on her wedding day

OCTOBER 2012

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COVERSTORY

GAVAN GUILFOYLE

KANCHINI VENKATARAMAN

BEN ANDREWS

PATRICIA PAULIN-CAMPBELL

Been in Luxembourg: 20 years Luxembourg: “It’s a very mixed community. I have loved acting here. Having a Luxembourg wife really helps having kids in the local school.” Royal wedding: “I don’t think it’s going to be on the scale of Will and Kate, but it’s a great thing for Luxembourg.” www.nwtc.com

Been in Luxembourg: 21 years Luxembourg: “I have the best of both worlds. I am a Luxembourger but also at home in India.” Royal wedding: “We will make sure it puts Luxembourg on the map in India.” www.emdieurope.com

Been in Luxembourg: 35 years Luxembourg: “It’s a great place; it’s been good to me.” The royal wedding: “A good excuse for a party.” www.thisisradar.com

Been in Luxembourg: 6 years Luxembourg: “It has changed my world view, because I interact with people from so many cultures in such a small space.” The royal wedding: “I love weddings and I feel the country will share in it. Though I wish we knew more about their love story, without being intrusive. ” www.islux.lu

Banker and actor

Consultant at EMDI Europe and assistant at Indian Consulate

the children of some of those early Eurocrats have often laid down more permanent roots here than their parents. After all, they grew up as strangers to the culture of their parents’ country (and many were born to parents of two different nationalities) and so Luxembourg became de facto their home.

The integration question But how well do non-Luxembourgers really integrate? According to the 2010 study by the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), the Grand Duchy ranks 11th out of 31 countries (the 27 EU member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA), even though the dual nationality law and the creation of the Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) by the ministry of family helped Luxembourg improve its score significantly compared to the 2007 study. Of course, many of the private employees who arrive to live in Luxembourg for work are on short-term contracts, so they have no interest in taking up nationality and, knowing they are merely in transit, often will not invest time in learning the local language or making an effort to integrate. The same charges are often levelled at other non-Luxembourgers, but the

Film maker, DJ and presenter on Ara City Radio

number of younger foreign nationals who do learn the language and take time to meet and befriend Luxembourgers is growing. And, it must be said, a new generation of Luxembourgers have also been more open to meeting and mixing with foreigners. Many non-Luxembourgers who have attended a local school, played in local sports teams or found Luxembourg friends and colleagues with similar cultural interests will easily integrate. People like Ben Andrews, who is an integral part of audiovisual collective Radar alongside four Luxembourgers, or Ron Tuffel who has been in Luxembourg for 34 years. Even though he speaks only a little Luxembourgish and is not taking up nationality, Tuffel says; “I am Luxembourgish in a way--a nouveau Luxembourger--and proud to be so. I am obviously American by birth, but I have lived here longer than I have lived in the United States, and when I vacation there after a month I say ‘let’s go home’.” He has no problem with Stéphanie taking up nationality. “Everyone should have open arms and welcome Stéphanie. We want her to enjoy the culture and the language and the people of Luxembourg, and I am sure she will.” Those sentiments were echoed by the Council of State in its ruling on the exemption law for the countess. It said that by granting her Luxembourg nationality, she will identify even more strongly with her role at the

Counsellor at International School of Luxembourg

side of the future head of state and with the Luxembourg people. Andrews, an alumni of the European School, is not so sure about Stéphanie’s exemption. “Dat geet awer net!” he says with a wry smile. Although he has been in Luxembourg all his life Andrews feels “more European than anything.” He loves speaking different languages and he picked up Luxembourgish by learning German at school and then playing football for the local team. Kanchini Venkataraman, a graduate in development for sustainability, also grew up here, and attended the local school system. “My parents just chucked me into the local school,” she explains. “As a kid you start picking up the language easily, and I speak Luxembourgish fluently.” But relative newcomers like Patricia PaulinCampbell also call Luxembourg home after just six years in the country. And she was very nervous about moving here with her husband for his career. She now speaks some Luxembourgish but has signed up for more lessons. And for a reason that speaks volumes about integration. “Because I really want to be able to converse well in Luxembourgish. There is an old man in our village who I always see and wave to, and he reminds me of my dad and I really want to speak with him properly.” OCTOBER 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

European School II

NEW CAMPUS, NEW ROUTINES Talks about traffic problems and continuing hostility towards the new location in Mamer slightly overshadowed the opening of the European School II. Text by Neel Chrillesen Photography by David Laurent/Wide

M

uch has been said about the European School II, the new 86,670 square meter campus built in Mamer to take the pressure off the bursting European School I in Kirchberg. It cost the Luxembourg state 237 million euro to build and has all the modern equipment one could dream of; certainly a lot better than the temporary structures many of the students used in Kirchberg. And yet, not all parents of the 2,047 pupils who experienced their first

FLYOVER IN PROGRESS Work on the Luxembourg-Mamer road bypass is expected to finish in the spring

POSITIVE FEEDBACK

Not all parents are unhappy about the move. Elisabeth has children in the Danish section: “We live nearby and are obviously very glad. My children have already tried cycling, taking the train and the bus. Honestly, the traffic has been much better than expected. Of course, some of the ‘European’ idea has gone away because the school is now split but with the new buildings and smaller student population, it feels more like a school to the children now.”

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rentrée there at the beginning of September were happy. “We live in Cents and work in Kirchberg. Our youngest is four and too young to take the bus alone, so I drive there--and arrive late to work. The eldest now takes a special school bus which costs 85 euro a month instead of the ten euro Jumbokaart she used before. She’s also been split from many of her friends,” one parent says. Ian Dennis, general secretary of the Parents Associations of the European Schools (FAPEEEL) knows many parents remain mystified by the decision to locate the school both outside the city boundaries and away from where 80 percent of the parents work, the EU institutions in Kirchberg. Not to mention the decision to

split the children by nationality (“vertically”) rather than by age (“horizontally”). “Those decisions have significant consequences for the pedagogy at the school and indeed for the ability to get to the school at all; and much of the effort of parent representatives these last months has been to seek mitigation wherever possible. We believe this has achieved a considerable degree of success, and were extremely pleased that the new school opened in the positive way it did. Clearly with any major project there are outstanding issues to resolve, but our overall impression is very favourable.” The director of the new school, Emmanuel de Tournemire is also satisfied. “We were worried about traffic but have found that a large percentage of students take public transportation. A complex mobility plan was put into place and though it still needs to be revised and improved, it works.” As for the traffic jams, they should “clear up” when the flyover on the Luxembourg-Mamer road opens in March 2013. “The traffic will stabilise itself and everything else is a success. The school was ready on time, the children were quick to take it over and call it theirs. It has great facilities and the setting is so much nicer than what they’d know in Kirchberg!”

Split programmes A number of negotiations are however still underway to solve transportation problems as many families have yet to find a suitable solution. Other concerns involve the impact of the “vertical” split. Explains Dennis: “In the European School system, applicable budget constraints mean that optional subjects can only run if there are enough pupils. With the division in two of the student population there is therefore some risk that options which might previously have run in both locations do not now run in either location. A similar concern hangs over the extracurricular activities which are organised in the afternoons and evenings.”

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Tips, advice and the best spots for parents and kids tion, 4th edi ngs. sti 800 li e from bl Availa ct! 13 o

FAMILY GUIDE 3 editions Français, English, Deutsch 200 pages 21,90 € FR_ISBN 978-99959-33-01-2 UK_ISBN 978-99959-33-03-6 DE_ISBN 978-99959-33-02-9 www.familyguide.lu

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CURRENT AFFAIRS PASCALE ENGEL DE ABREU Foreign language broadens horizons

Migration

NO SLOWDOWN IN REQUESTS University of Luxembourg

An unprecedented number of asylum seekers have filed papers in Luxembourg. How is the government handling the surge? Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by David Laurent/Wide

IMMIGRATION SERVICE On track to see a record number of refugee applications this year

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1,100 cases as of July 31, although only 32 applicants received a positive response. The majority of other applications, 955, were refused. More than 100 asylum seekers were transferred to other European states, where their cases are meant to be heard under EU rules. Similarly 31 people were transferred to Luxembourg from other European countries. From January to July more than 1,000 applicants were repatriated, although only 37 were “forcibly returned”, the immigration service says. Luxembourg’s government has previously said it was training more staff to handle the surge in asylum requests. Nicolas Schmit, the immigration minister, did not responded to Delano’s request seeking comment on the rise in refugee applications at press time. Earlier this year, the EU’s official statistics agency reported that Luxembourg handled less than 0.4% of all asylum cases in the EU in 2011. Eurostat said that in Luxembourg 16.7% of asylum applicants received refugee or protected status either in their first application decision or on appeal, compared to 44.3% across the EU, 28.6% in France, 30.1% in Belgium, 37.7% in Germany, and 70.4% in the UK.

Education

BILINGUAL ADVANTAGE

Languages help low income kids, new research at the University of Luxembourg has found. Bilingual children from economically disadvantaged homes have a better attention span than their monolingual counterparts, according to a paper published in the academic journal Psychological Science. The study compared second-graders in Luxembourg who spoke Luxembourgish and Portuguese with those in Portugal that only spoke Portuguese. While the children in Luxembourg did not perform better on the memory section of the tests, they did score higher on concentration. “This is the first study to show that, although they may face linguistic challenges, minority bilingual children from low-income families demonstrate important strengths in other cognitive domains”, explains the University of Luxembourg’s Dr. Pascale Engel de Abreu, who led the project.

LUXEMBOURGER NAMED COURT CHIEF DEAN SPIELMANN

The Grand Duchy’s judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg was elected the body’s president, after a secret ballot of all 47 court judges.

Council of Europe

L

uxembourg received 1,437 asylum seekers during the first seven months of the year, a pace at which 2011’s record number of submissions could be broken. From January through July 2011 the Grand Duchy received 1,053 refugee applications, according to immigration service figures. That number was already more than three times the 340 requests received during the same period in 2010. For the full 2011 year, Luxembourg saw 2,164 “international protection requests”, as they are formally known, a rise of 277% over 2010. More than 80 percent of applications logged so far this year were made by people originally from the former Yugoslavia and from Albania. The immigration service says it has issued decisions on more than

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al nnu h A ade t f i F Tr BCC bers’ ning m Me & Eve rum o Fair ess F in s u B day nes 2012 d e W er ctob 10 O

Business Information and Networking Events For Luxembourg’s international English-speaking business community

Trade Fair and Forum Wednesday 10 October 5th BCC Members’ Trade Fair & Forum: Your Digital Life To be opened by Xavier Bettel, Mayor of the City of Luxembourg BGL BNP Paribas, Luxembourg City

Social / Sporting Event Friday 19 October Driving Safety Day Colmar-Berg

Business Lunch Friday 16 November

Speaker : Karl Horsburgh Tax – Luxembourg tax compared to the rest of Europe La Table du Belvedere, Kirchberg

Business Lunch Friday 14 December Annual Christmas Lunch Hémicycle, Kirchberg For more details on these and other events and to register visit www.bcc.lu or call the office on +352 465 466

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Jean Asselborn

“ IT’S NOT ‘AGAINST’ ANYBODY ELSE” Luxembourg’s foreign minister talks to Delano about the Grand Duchy’s UN Security Council candidacy. Interview by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Charles Caratini

AG: Why is Luxembourg putting its name forward? JA: I think that it’s not only a right, but it’s a duty to be, at one time--as a founding member--a candidate for the Security Council. AG: What does Luxembourg bring to the table? JA: Luxembourg can [demonstrate leadership] for instance in ODA, official development assistance, in cooperation policy, politics in favour of the poorer countries in the world. We have established, since the 80s, a very high level of ODA. It is about one percent of our GDP. With Norway, we are the best in this concern. AG: How is the campaign going? JA: I think that if you have never been in the Security Council, it is for a lot of countries [in the General Assembly] an advantage. Finland and Australia have already been in the Security Council. It’s not the same. We are not a candidate against other candidates. We are promoting the specificities and advantages that Luxembourg can offer. We managed 11 presidencies of the European Union. Eleven. Sometimes we have done it, as people say, better than bigger countries. When we do this, we do it with 300 people. Others need 3,000 people. AG: Will Luxembourg really be able to go toe-to-toe against the permanent members, giant countries like China or the US?

22

JA: We are not against China or the US. If you have the presidency of the EU, you coordinate. If you are in the Security Council, I think you have to defend what you think corresponds to international law and the charter of the United Nations. So it’s not ‘against’ anybody else. It is in favour of the values of the UN. AG: This is a highly visible, global position. Are you concerned about Luxembourg losing its relatively low profile and making enemies? JA: Every sovereign country has to have a very clear political position concerning the problems of security in the world. I cannot agree with what happens in Syria, for instance, and I have to say why. I cannot agree with what happens in the Middle East and I have to say why. I cannot agree that in Africa, we have a lack of understanding and that we are not engaged enough in solving the problems of poverty. AG: Will you be disappointed if you are not elected? JA: The lights in the Security Council will not go out, and the lights in Luxembourg also will not go out. The advantage of this long-term campaign is to put Luxembourg on the map; [to show] that we are not only a financial centre, and that we not only have a lot of money here. But that we have the reflex to give something to those who have less than we have.

JEAN ASSELBORN Win or lose, the bid is good for Luxembourg

AG: Are you optimistic about winning the poll? JA: I am optimistic that a lot of countries will consider Luxembourg as a valuable member of the Security Council. As for the election, I know that it is difficult and I don’t want to make any predictions. I would be very, very glad for our country if we were elected. I would also be very glad for our diplomatic corps, because the motivation is there to do it. But I always say, it’s a very interesting experience and maybe during the next century we will not have another possibility to do it. So let’s see what will happen.

NEW YORK BID

Last month Grand Duke Henri addressed the UN General Assembly and made the case for the Grand Duchy to garner one of two rotating seats on the UN Security Council. Luxembourg-one of the few founding UN members never to have served on the council--faces Australia and Finland, and needs votes (on October 18) from two-thirds of the body’s 193 members in order to win a two-year slot beginning January 1. Former union activist Jean Asselborn (LSAP) has been deputy prime minister and foreign minister since 2004. He spoke to Delano in advance of the UN poll.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Casino director Jo Kox was kept busy carving pata negra at the launch party

HOUSEWARMING AT CASINO The Casino contemporary art forum hosted a housewarming party for its latest ambitious three-month programme mid-September. It also celebrated the opening of the Ca(fé)sino “pop-up” café (see page 46). Atelier Luxembourg - Making of allows each of the 15 artists to have their own space in the Casino’s exhibition cubes. They can do with that space what they want, using it as a de facto studio to create a new work or collaborate with others in the project. Casino artistic director Kevin Muhlen, together with Isabelle Henrion and Mirjam Bayerdörfer is curating the project, while the 15 artists are Yann Annicchiarico, Leonora Bisagno, Stina Fisch, Julie Goergen, Sophie Jung, Vera Kox, Philippe Nathan, Roland Quetsch, Letizia Romanini, Sté Ternes, Sumo, The Plug, Steve Veloso and Jeff Weber. www.casino-luxembourg.lu

Culture minister Octavie Modert and Casino art director Kevin Muhlen

Sumo is one of the 15 artists currently working at the Casino

Photographed by Luc Deflorenne

Conceptual artist Trixi Weis enjoying the work in progress

Ca(fé)sino affords great views across the Petrusse valley

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BUSINESS THE UCITS BRAND

European Commission has issued a draft directive for the fifth iteration of UCITS, the cross-border mutual fund rules that forms the heart of Luxembourg’s financial centre. Among other goals, UCITS V is meant to prevent fraud like Bernard Madoff’s US$10 billion Ponzi scheme. Brussels also started talking about a future UCITS VI rulebook. In the run-up to the latest rules being released, consultancy KPMG polled UCITS managers--who collectively have €1.6 trillion of assets in their portfolios--about what they would ideally like to see in a “perfect” set of UCITS regulations. Naturally, “managers would welcome a period of respite from the wave of regula-

tory change,” so they can finish implementing the existing set of regulations, KPMG concludes in its report. The poll reveals interest in fewer messages for the public and increased cross-border integration within the EU. While many tout the “Luxembourg UCITS brand” as a quality label recognised around the globe, nearly two-thirds of asset managers in KPMG’s poll say the term “UCITS” should not be mandatorily included in a fund’s name (see figure 1). Another of Brussels’ proposed provisions would split all types of investment products into “complex” and “noncomplex” categories, the former suited for more sophisticated investors and the latter

for all retail investors. But four out of five UCITS managers opposed such a move, likely for fear of creating confusion among consumer investors (figure 2). UCITS V also spells out a single, pan-European body of procedural and liability requirements for funds’ depositary banks, which are responsible for safeguarding the money investors place in UCITS funds. Currently those rules are implemented in slightly different ways by each of the EU27’s national regulators. Yet more than half of asset managers are in favour of creating a crossborder playing field (figure 3). An even larger majority were in favour of EU-wide tax rules for funds (figure 4).

MERSCH BLOCKED

FIGURE 1

FIGURE 2

SHOULD THE TERM “UCITS” BE INCLUDED IN FUND NAMES?

SEGMENT FUNDS INTO COMPLEX AND NON-COMPLEX UCITS ?

4%

61%

35%

Don’t know

Yes

No

Yes

know

17%

83%

No

Charles Caratini

Yes

Yes

BRAZIL CHAMBER

ICELAND “FAILED” SAVERS

E-BOOK PRICE INQUIRY

The new Luxembourg Brazil Business Council has launched. Due to the steel industry, Luxembourg is the largest net foreign investor into Brazil, according to LBBC head Laertes Boechat (photo, right). Brazilian firms are also keen on connecting with Luxembourg’s maritime and finance centres.

Iceland’s government breached European law by neglecting to protect foreign depositors after the 2008 collapse of Landsbanki, regulators argued at the EFTA Court in Luxembourg. “Icesave” accounts were frozen for weeks before the British and Dutch insurance schemes stepped in.

Apple and four publishers may reach an anti-trust settlement this month with the EU’s competition authority over alleged e-book price-fixing. However, the European Commission continues its separate proceedings against Luxembourg, which lowered VAT on e-books to 3% last year.

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Source: KPMG

61%

Luxembourg’s central bank has warned of a “technical recession” saying early data indicates that GDP growth could be as little as -0.6% this year and -0.4% in 2013, although more definitive numbers still need to be crunched. Meanwhile, inflation is expected to remain above 2% for the next year, which could trigger another round of indexation, or automatic increases in wages and pensions.

Shiftstigma/Creative Commons

4%

Don’t know

INTRODUCE A HARMONISED EU TAX FRAMEWORK FOR FUNDS AND THEIR SHAREHOLDERS ?

Eralda van Zurk/Creative Commons

INTRODUCE A DEPOSITARY BANK PASSPORT ?

No

No

THE “R” WORD

83%

FIGURE 4

FIGURE 3

35%

4% 13% Don’t

The European Parliament hearing on Yves Mersch’s nomination to the European Central Bank’s executive board was called off “after it became evident that no female candidate had been considered for the position,” said British MEP Sharon Bowles. Despite the protest manoeuvre, Mersch (photo), who currently is head of Luxembourg’s central bank, could face a vote as soon as this month.

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BUSINESS

FEWER COWS BUT MORE MILK FEWER COWS BUT MORE MILK FEWER COWS BUT MORE MILK

58,843 58,843 58,843

3,320 milk 3,320 milkmilk cows in cows 3,320 cows in in annual milk production Luxembourgannual milk production Luxembourg annual milk production Luxembourg per cow (in kilos) per cow (in kilos) per cow (in kilos)

68,346 68,346 68,346 milk cows in

4,401 4,401 4,401

milkmilk cowscows in in annual milk production Luxembourg annual milk production Luxembourg annual milk production Luxembourg perkilos) cow (in kilos) per cow (in per cow (in kilos)

40,944 40,944 40,944 milk cows in

Stu Mayhew/Creative Commons

FEWER COWS BUT MORE MILK 7,21 27,21 7,21 2 2

milkmilk cowscows in in annual milk production Luxembourg annual milk production Luxembourg annual milk production Luxembourg perkilos) cow (in kilos) per cow (in per cow (in kilos)

1962 1962 1962

1985 1985 1985

2010 2010 2010

195,360 195,360 195,360

300,791 300,791 300,791

295,291 295,291 295,291

annual annual milk annual milk milk production production production (in tonnes) (in tonnes) (in tonnes)

annual annual milk annual milk milk production production production (in tonnes) (in tonnes) (in tonnes)

annual annual milk annual milk milk production production production (in tonnes) (in tonnes) (in tonnes)

EIB STILL AAA

European Investment Bank

Moody’s Investors Service has confirmed its top-notch rating on the European Investment Bank, the EU’s development bank. The credit rating agency’s annual review of the Kirchbergbased EIB cited strengths such as “the bank’s sound governance and prudent risk management,” “the high quality of its assets,” and the fact the EIB is backed by the European Central Bank and EU mem-

ber states. Nevertheless, Moody’s warned that “a severe deterioration in the euro area could have a negative impact on the EIB.” Although guaranteed by member states, the EIB raises its investment funds on the global capital markets. A lower credit rating would increase its cost of borrowing. The EIB is not involved in the bailouts of euro zone governments or banks.

Source: STATEC and Luxembourg's rural economic service

GOING PRIVATE ProLogis European Properties (PEPR), one of the continent’s largest operators of distribution facilities, has delisted from Euronext Amsterdam and the Luxembourg stock exchanges. Last year PEPR was the subject of a €1.2 billion takeover bid by Dutch pension fund APG and Australian real estate investment trust Goodman Group. As the result of its counterbids, US-based Prologis--the world’s largest warehouse owner--upped its stake from 20 to 95%. “Since the freefloat remained very small, Prologis decided to acquire 100% and hence delist PEPR,” a spokeswoman tells Delano. Credit agency Moody’s maintained its investment grade Baa3 rating, noting PEPR had “a high quality portfolio of assets” but faces downward pressure on rents.

The Council of the European Union (archives)

EXPANDING NORTH AND EAST

The Council of the European Union

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has cleared the path for the euro zone’s permanent rescue fund, based in Luxembourg, to begin operations. The court rejected a petition--signed by more than 12,000 German citizens-to block the treaties that authorise the European Stability Mechanism and transfer more fiscal powers to Brussels. That means the €500 billion ESM can begin taking over from temporary bailout agency EFSF, also based in Kirchberg. “I plan to convene the inaugural meeting of the ESM board of governors in the margins of the Eurogroup meeting of 8 October in Luxembourg,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, the Grand Duchy’s prime minister and Eurogroup chief. “Both treaties represent a major step forward towards closer fiscal and economic integration and stronger governance in the euro area. They are part of our comprehensive strategy to bolster the outlook for fiscal sustainability and growth in the euro area.” Juncker expects the treaties will go into effect on January 1.

Luc Deflorenne (archives)

BAILOUT AGENCY GETS OK

CHAMBER BLASTS CHINA POLICY China’s state-oriented development model is “no longer sustainable,” the European Chamber of Commerce in China said in a position paper. The group called for a pan-European approach with fewer bilateral negotiations between EU member states and China. It also praised recent changes at China’s financial regulator, but said some policies still favoured the development of Shanghai’s financial centre. The EUCCC presented its lobbying document at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce the day before Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao (photo, left) met with EU leaders in Brussels.

Value fund manager Sparinvest inked a deal with Hong Kong-based Hai Tong Asset Management “that will see both companies working towards future joint-product offerings in Europe” and Greater China. Sparinvest is also taking over the funds run by Ikano Funds, the Luxembourg-domiciled manager owned by the Ikano Group, which is best known for its retail brand IKEA. The move means “Sparinvest is strengthening its position in the Swedish market as well as supporting its international growth strategy,” says its Luxembourg chief Jan Stig Rasmussen. The Grand Duchy-based fund firm is an offshoot of one of Denmark’s largest savings banks with about €9 billion in assets under management. OCTOBER 2012

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BUSINESS Robert Deed, chair of the British Chamber From left: Emmanual Begat, Jill Saville, Mark Vereecken, Wim Geleyn and Clare Hargreaves

Alice Walpole, British ambassador, and Laurent Mosar, president of the Chamber of Deputies, at the British Chamber’s 20th

British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg

Best of…

SUMMER NETWORKING

Gast Waltzing’s Quartet at the British Chamber’s 20th

Since our last edition, the Grand Duchy’s business community profited from the warm weather. In June the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg celebrated its 20th anniversary with a garden party at the British embassy residence (photographed by Jessica Theis), while the new Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce launched with highly visible support from the Irish government (photographed by Luc Deflorenne). Then in August women’s professional group The Network had an informal confab (photographed by Steve Eastwood), and in September the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable on bringing corporate and social responsibility to every size company (photographed by Jessica Theis). Here are just a few of the highlights. More photos are available at www.delano.lu. AG

Jacques Loesch

Sophie Kerschen and Stefan Chorus at the British Chamber’s 20th

Kieron O’Connor and Geraldine Cassells

From left: Antoine Seyler, Romain Weiler and Catriona McDermott

From left: chair of the new Irish Chamber Joseph Huggard, Irish ambassador Diarmuid O’Leary and Ireland’s deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore

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BUSINESS Hedda-Phalson Moller

Jed Grant Harald-Sven Sontag

Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce Ali Kashefi at the Chamber of Commerce CSR conference

Seated, from left, are Karen Feil, Fiona Hampton, Hana Kuhn and Beatrice Munn, and standing, from left, are Cornelia Tudor, Elisa Biondi, Jacqueline Kost and Christianne de Roy, at The Network’s summer drinks get-together

Netty Thines

The Network

From left: Guy Daleiden, Pierre Gramegna and Luxembourg’s ambassador to Brussels Alphone Berns at the Irish Chamber launch

Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce

From left: Marcella McCarthy, Pádraig McCarthy and Thierry Bertrand

Inbarr O’Sullivan and Tony Whitehouse at the Irish Chamber launch

OCTOBER 2012

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BUSINESS

Real estate

OFFICE RENTS FLAT Kingsimmy/Creative Commons

Luxembourg lease prices have remained stagnant during the past 12 months, according to data from a major realty consultancy. Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Steve Eastwood

G

ood news and bad news for companies looking for new digs: Luxembourg office costs have been flat this year, but landlords are regaining the upper hand. CB Richard Ellis reports that prime office rent in Luxembourg City during the first half of the year was an average of €40 per square meter per month. That is a rise of zero percent over the past year. The firm--which tracks 133 office markets worldwide--says most major EU markets were similarly flat. Monthly prime office space in central Brussels was €24 per square meter, a rise of zero percent over the past year, while the rates were €28 in Amsterdam (up 0.9% over the second quarter last year), €38 in Frankfurt (also a zero percent increase), and €68 in Paris (a decrease of 1.2%).

UNDER CONSTRUCTION KPMG’s new Luxembourg headquarters in Kirchberg

30

The stable prices reflect the stable market. “Leasing activity levels in Luxembourg for the first half of 2012 were in line with last year,” the firm said in a research report provided to the firm’s office-seeking clients. At the same time, CBRE expects prices to increase as few new projects have been funded and built in the current uncertain economic climate. “Occupiers continue to favour central locations, resulting in increasingly limited supply. With little new development expected, market conditions are likely to become increasingly favourable for landlords.” Landlords in central Luxembourg City have been reducing incentives, such as the number of rent-free months that are offered to lessees and their contribution towards the fitting-out of office space, Véronique Koch, research analyst at the firm’s office in the Grand Duchy, tells Delano. “The really good opportunities, we think, for tenants have passed.” However for less central locales such as Bertrange or Capellen, “it’s still possible to have some good offers. But the pressure on landlords has decreased and it’s not the same, I would say, as one year ago.”

Finance

MORE FLAGSHIPS

One of the world’s main credit ratings agencies has critiqued the lack of large-scale cross-border European funds.

Fitch Ratings says European funds are too many and too small: only 430 out of 12,000 cross-border funds have more than €1 billion in assets and the average fund size is €210 million. Fund families often proliferate because they are run and distributed by retail banking and insurance groups with fragmented operations, in Fitch’s view. Only Dutch asset manager Robeco passed its threshold. Yet “flagship funds help fund managers achieve better distribution of their products, and contribute to portfolio management focus and operational efficiency. UK and US players are far better positioned in this regard than those in mainland Europe.” The inherent advantages means the agency “gives value to the existence of flagships,” when rating fund firms.

“TOO MANY GOVERNMENTS LOOK AT THEIR NATIONAL MARKETS ONLY” Finance minister Luc Frieden, expressing “mixed feelings” about the proposed EU-wide banking union, during his ALFI conference speech.

OCTOBER 2012

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plan K

On the road to tomorrow’s mobility. Driving differently and reducing the congestion on our roads. ALD Automotive, the market leader in contract hire in Luxembourg, designs smart mobility solutions. A Smart Mobility Consultant has joined its team, offering turnkey solutions to businesses and local authorities. These solutions are part of the ALD Bluefleet service, which was launched in 2009. ALD Automotive is reducing its actual CO2 emissions through carbon offset combined with eco-driving and lower mileage.

For any questions on mobility, contact us: Pierre-Yves Meert, Smart Mobility Consultant, 31 05 36 1

C0 2 carbon offset

or pierre-yves.meert@aldautomotive.com

Working together for smart mobility!

See details of all our initiatives during Mobility Week at http://www.aldautomotive.lu

Working together for smart mobility!

12456-08-ALD_CampagneMobilitĂŠ_210x265-delano_EN - DEF.indd 1

21.09.12 12:09


BUSINESS

Economy

LUXEMBOURG BEHIND FRANCE A major Swiss think-tank says Luxembourg is less competitive than all its neighbouring countries.

World Economic Forum/Creative Commons

L

uxembourg was ranked 22 out of 144 countries--within the top 15 percent worldwide--in this year’s Global Competitiveness Index, which is produced by the World Economic Forum. That is up one notch from 23rd place in 2011, but down from the 20th spot in 2010. According to the WEF, the three most competitive economies in the world are Switzerland, Singapore and Finland. The top 10 was rounded out by Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, the US,

the UK, Hong Kong and Japan. China was ranked number 13, Belgium took 17th place, and France--at number 21--was just ahead of Luxembourg. The WEF publishes the wellregarded annual report based on extensive surveys of economic indicators and polls of business leaders in each country. In the Grand Duchy, the research was coordinated by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. Certain traditional advantages --notably confidence in policymaking, efficiency of the legal framework, labour relations, the tax framework and the degree of the development of the financial sector--had “eroded” Luxembourg’s ranking, the chamber told the press. “On the other hand, the Grand Duchy undeniably progressed in the field of logistics and technology infrastructure, which should be welcomed.” Indeed, Luxembourg was placed 12th worldwide on the “quality of overall infrastructure” with the dif-

ferent measures of telecommunications and transport infrastructure all ranking in the global top 30. However, when it came to the “availability of airline seat kilometres per week”, the Grand Duchy came in 119th worldwide. The WEF report observed that the most competitive geographic regions globally remained in North America and in parts of Europe and Asia. At the European level, the economic performance gap has shifted from the former Cold War frontlines to a north-south rift, the report said. “With six of the 10 bestperforming countries, Northern and Western Europe is a competitiveness hotspot. The assessment is considerably bleaker when looking at Southern and Eastern Europe.” The authors added that an analysis of the EU shows that today “the traditional distinction made between the 15 original members and the 12 countries that joined after 2004 does not hold from a competitiveness point of view”. AG

GLOBAL MIRROR The WEF is best known for its Davos Conference

10% Luxembourg

12% EU27

Have ever used a robot, such as a robotic vacuum cleaner or industrial robot

32 32_1page business.indd 32

The European Commission has surveyed more than 26,000 EU residents, including 501 in Luxembourg, about their attitudes towards robots. Here’s what they found:

79% Luxembourg

70% EU27

Agree that robots steal peoples’ jobs

78% Luxembourg

60% EU27

Believe use of robots should be banned in care of children, elderly and the disabled

37% Luxembourg

48% EU27

Source: Eurobarometer

YOU, ROBOT

Are comfortable having a robot assistant at work

OCTOBER 2012

26/9/12 6:55 PM


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BUSINESS

Travel

FLIGHT CONNECTIONS Airline competition is heating up. But do you know the best way to get on board?

T

his autumn sees a raft of new flight options launch in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, notably the arrival of the first budget carrier to serve Findel Airport. In response, established players are adding flights and offering special deals. Other competitors are steppingup their marketing efforts by highlighting cheaper fares, increasing the number of direct destinations, and improving access to airports across the region. To help navigate the concourse, Delano presents a brief guide to flight connections. We looked for all the airports that a Luxembourg resident could reasonably (or somewhat reasonably) consider, the various ways to get there, and the most popular and unique destinations served. A few notes about the guide: All travel times are calculated from the place de la Gare, Luxembourg-Gare. Driving times are estimated for non-commute hours and without accounting for traffic conditions. Unless otherwise noted train tickets to Belgium, France and the Netherlands can be purchased from CFL (www.cfl.lu) and to Germany from Deutsche Bahn (www.bahn.de). Tickets for all bus connections can either be purchased in advance from respective train lines or directly onboard from the driver; online from DeLux-Espress or Flibco; and Lorraine TGV shuttle tickets can only be purchased on-board from the driver. The destinations listed are representative and may not include all cities served by an airline at a particular airport. Scheduled (not charter) flights listed in this guide are non-stop and offered year-round, unless otherwise noted. Happy landings. AG

12

FRANCE

1 BRUSSELS NATIONAL AIRPORT www.brusselsairport.be T +32 2 753 7753 i 2 1/2 hours j + j 3 1/2 hours Air One: daily to Venice Brussels Airlines: daily non-stop to New York JFK; weekly non-stop to Mombasa begins Nov. 2 OLT Express: daily flights to Gdansk and Warsaw begin Oct. 30 Thai Airways: 3 non-stop flights per week to Bangkok

2 MAASTRICHT-AACHEN AIRPORT www.maa.nl T +31 43 358 9898 i 2 1/2 hours j + j + 8 4 1/2 hours Ryanair: 14 routes including Barcelona, Dublin & London-Stansted Germanwings: daily flights to Berlin Transavia: serves several Mediterranean getaway spots

4 BRUSSELS SOUTH CHARLEROI AIRPORT www.charleroi-airport.com T +32 78 15 27 22 i 2 hours 8 2 3/4 hours (www.flibco.lu) j + j + 8 3 hours Jetairfly: More than a dozen Mediterranean destinations Ryanair: frequent service to Dublin, Edinburgh & Manchester, plus the south of France, Italy & Spain Wizz Air: flies to Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia & Warsaw

5 FRANKFURT-HAHN AIRPORT www.hahn-airport.de T +49 6543 409 200 i 1 1/2 hours j + j + j 4 hours Air Berlin: daily to Berlin & Munich Germanwings: flies to Dublin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, London-Heathrow & Stansted, Milan, Moscow, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Vienna & Zurich Norwegian: 4 times a week to Oslo

3 COLOGNE BONN AIRPORT www.koeln-bonn-airport.de T +49 2203 40 4001 i 2 1/2 hours j + j + j 4 hours Air Berlin: daily to Berlin & Munich Germanwings: flies to Dublin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, London-Heathrow & Stansted, Milan, Moscow, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Vienna & Zurich Norwegian: 4 times a week to Oslo

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OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:01


BUSINESS

NETHERLANDS

LEGEND

i Car 8 Bus j Train j Shuttle

2

1

GERMANY

3

4

BELGIUM 7

13

5

10

6

LUXEMBOURG 8

14

9

8 SAARBRÜCKEN AIRPORT www.flughafen-saarbruecken.de T +49 6893 83 0 i 1 1/4 hours 8 + 8 2 hours (www.saarfahrplan.de)

11

Air Berlin: daily to Berlin; weekdays to Nuremburg; weekly to the Canary Islands and Mallorca Luxair: daily to Berlin, Hamburg & Luxembourg-Findel OLT: twice weekly to Warsaw

6 FRANKFURT-MAIN AIRPORT www.frankfurt-airport.com T +49 69 690 0 i 2 3/4 hours 8 3 1/2 hours (www.flibco.lu or www.delux-express.de) j + j + 8 4 hours Air India: daily to Delhi Emirates: daily to Dubai Lufthansa: carrier represents 60% of all flights at Europe’s third largest airport (77% including its Star Alliance partners); serves more than 100 cities around the globe. Qantas: flies the A380 non-stop to Singapore, then onto Sydney Qatar: daily to Doha

7 LUXEMBOURG FINDEL AIRPOT www.luxairport.lu T +352 2464 1 i 15 minutes 8 25 minutes Luxair: 700 flights to 35 major destinations across Europe, including daily non-stops to Barcelona, Geneva, Hamburg, London-City, Milan, Munich, Nice, Paris, Rome, Sofia, Venice & Vienna British Airways: adds third daily flight to LondonHeathrow on Nov. 26 CityJet: 3 flights weekdays to London-City Scandinavian: daily to Copenhagen easyJet: becomes the first low cost carrier at Findel, with flights to London-Gatwick four times a week beginning Oct. 29

9 ZWEIBRÜCKEN AIRPORT www.flughafen-zweibruecken.de T +49 6332 9747 i 1 1/2 hours j + 8 + j 2 1/2 hours Sky Airlines: regular service to Antalya TUIfly: charter flights to Spain Tunisair: charter flights to Tunis

10 BADEN-AIRPARK www.baden-airpark.de T +49 7229 6620 00 i 2 3/4 hours j + j + j + 8 4 hours Air Berlin: daily flights to Berlin Germania: charter flights to the Canary Islands Ryanair: daily service to London-Stansted, Rome-Ciampino & Stockholm-Skavsta; thrice weekly flights to Riga & Vilnius

11 STRASBOURG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT www.strasbourg.aeroport.fr T +33 3 88 64 67 67 i 2 1/2 hours j + j 2 1/2 hours Air France KLM: 3 daily flights to Amsterdam; daily flights to major cities in France Czech: daily to Prague Volontea: launched service to Bordeaux, Nantes & Montpellier on Oct. 1

12 PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT www.aeroportsdeparis.fr T +33 1 70 36 39 50 i 4 hours 8 (to Gare Lorraine) + j (to CDG) 3 1/2 hours j + change stations from Paris Est to Gare du Nord + j 3 3/4 hours

(Paris commuter train tickets not available online; purchase at Gare du Nord)

Air France KLM: dominate carrier at Europe’s second largest airport, with dozens of daily flights to the Americas, and an increased focused on service to China Delta: non-stop to 10 US hubs XL Airways France: budget carrier flies non-stop to Las Vegas, New York-JFK, San Francisco, as well as to the Dominican Republic, Maldives and Mexico

13 PARIS-VATRY AIRPORT (NEAR REIMS) www.vatry.com T +33 3 26 64 82 00 i 2 1/2 hours Jetairfly: summer service to Nice LuxairTours: summer service to the Mediterranean Ryanair: serves Marseille, Porto & Stockholm-Skavska

14 METZ-NANCY-LORRAINE AIRPORT www.metz-nancy-lorraine.aeroport.fr T +33 3 87 56 70 00 i 1 1/2 hours j to Metz + j 1 3/4 hours Air France: daily to Lyon & Nice Air Algerie: four times a week to Algers TwinJet: twice a day weekday service to Marseille-Provence & Toulouse Volotea: launched thrice weekly service to Nantes on Sept. 11

OCTOBER 2012

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35 26/09/12 19:01


BUSINESS

Start-ups

LUXEMBOURG ENTREPRENEURS IN 3D Company founders need depth and breadth to get their initiatives off the ground. So what better way for Delano to present its “Ten start-ups to watch” list than to take a three-dimensional look at the young firms who themselves work in three dimensions? All of the young companies profiled in our first-ever start-up “hot list” are based in the Grand Duchy, irrespective of the founders’ nationalities. They are focused on a product or service that demonstrates entrepreneurship and innovation, and they are still privately held. While the firms are still in “start-up mode,” all have demonstrated tangible evidence that their firms have promising prospects. Here’s why you should keep your eyes on them. Text by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Steve Eastwood

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OCTOBER 2012

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BUSINESS

CHANDRA DE KEYSER Hopes to see a big boost from the economy ministry’s Silicon Valley exchange programme

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hree dimensional imagery is best known in the public mind for its use in the mass media. While that is not the only innovative use of 3D by the Grand Duchy’s start-ups, it certainly is one of them. Onyx Lux 3D, a CGI animation house in the capital, has worked on the recent hit animated TV series Iron Man and Robin Hood. But its most famous project is probably the current incarnation of Le Petit Prince which, says Luxembourg studio manager Regis Drujont, captures 36 percent marketshare when it airs on French TV and has been successfully syndicated to dozens of countries worldwide. Founded in 2007 by Aton Soumache and Alexis Vonarb, Onyx Lux 3D has already seen its young fortunes ebb and flow. It went from two to 70 staff between 2009 and 2011, but then back down to nine today when contracts dried up in the wake of the economic crisis, states Drujont. He takes such swings in stride, explaining that--in any event--his firm is dependent on producers securing funding and then choosing to partner with the animation house. And he somewhat jokingly calls computer graphics “the red headed step child” of the big budget entertainment industry, with animation--for TV--falling somewhere at the bottom of the food chain. With new projects in the pipeline, Drujont hopes the firm will get back up to 60 to 70 employees in Luxembourg next year. In the meantime, the company has recently opened studios in Paris and Montreal. In the physical world, 3D computer power is bringing spatial awareness to a whole new

TEN START-UPS TO WATCH

01 Health

AXOGLIA THERAPEUTICS

AxoGlia researches molecules that could lead to drug treatments for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s. This spring the company inked a three-year joint research deal with the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine which co-founder Djalil Coowar hopes will lead to new partnerships in the US and Europe. The six-year-old, three-person firm also aims to use its in-house drug screening platform to provide contract research services to the pharmaceutical industry. www.axoglia.com

02

Consumer

BUBBLEBIN

Bubblebin produces an “on the go” garbage container. The idea is to have a stylish and functional way to keep areas like your car, building lobbies, and bars and restaurants tidy, says inventor Paul Loutsch. Bubblebin comes in two parts: a small frosted glass body and multi-coloured, biodegradable cardboard cups that can be emptied or thrown away. Designed and developed in Luxembourg, part of the production takes place at the Fondation Kräizbierg, a group that helps the physically disabled live independently. www.bubblebin.com

OCTOBER 2012

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2011 – LPPTV – Method Animation – LP Animation – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (France) – Fabrique d’images – DQ Entertainment Limited – ARD. In association with France Télévisions – WDR – RAI Fiction – TSR & TV5 Monde.

BUSINESS

“LE PETIT PRINCE” Animation house Onyx Lux 3D has helped TV series The Little Prince take the world by storm

"IT HELPS MAKE DECISIONS" SERGE ECKER

level. Four-year-old Grid Design helps “people visualise their ideas in 3D and take advantage of 3D visualisations and digital model making to help them communicate their ideas,” says CEO and creative director Serge Ecker. The company can produce both physical mock-ups using its 3D printing equipment and for the screen with its home-grown software. Ecker studied film special effects and then worked “16 hours per day for nothing” at a 3D studio in Germany. When he moved back to Luxembourg, an architecture firm was seeking an advantage promoting its work and offered him a contract. Ultimately that led him to found Grid Design, which has worked with clients--primarily architects, but also interior designers and product developers--from Berlin to Tokyo. Ecker is still the sole employee but has an established network of freelancers. In Ecker’s view, Grid Design’s real advantage is the “dialogue” it forces its clients to have. For example, 3D techniques help architects see how different materials change a design, so they know if an idea will “work or if it doesn’t work.” He explains that “it helps make decisions, so an architect knows what he wants before presenting” proposals to their clients. The approach also helps “proof check” concepts from various viewpoints before construction begins, sparing the need for expensive adjustments while work is already under way, and Ecker reckons it is more environmental friendly because his clients’ clients end up using fewer building materials.

03

04

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06

CHS DEVULCANISATION

FUNDS FOR GOOD

GRID DESIGN

MACH-3D

Industry & engineering The Luxembourg spin-out of a Swiss firm has the first technology to recycle rubber from used tyres into rubber for new tyres, instead of for use in other products. It inked a deal with CRP Henri Tudor last month to help launch its first processing centre, which will supply Goodyear in Colmar-Berg exclusively for four years. “They can absorb so much, we don’t need another” customer at the moment, says chief Laurent Selles. After the lockup ends, CHS may add centres in the US and in Asia, where it works with Samsung. laurent.selles@worldonline.fr

38

Finance

A socially responsible investment house that connects fund managers and clients who want to make an “impact” investment. Funds for Good donates half of its own profits to social and environmental charities, such as the Red Cross, without impacting clients’ bottom-lines. In addition to the Banque de Luxembourg, it has deals with asset managers in Brazil, Canada and France. “We’re not idealistic dreamers,” co-founder Marc Verhaeren told paperJam magazine this summer. “If the product doesn’t suit, the client won’t stay.” www.fundsforgood.eu

Industry & engineering The start-up provides printed 3D models and computer simulations for architects and designers. In Luxembourg, the firm has helped the organisations behind the capital’s “Living without cars” housing project, retail retrofits on avenue de la Gare, and a new lycée in Esch-Alzette. Few competitors can create 3D visuals for the market, says Serge Ecker. Grid Design’s next challenge is finding customers for its new real time application--developed in-house--that lets users virtually walk through a building on their iPhone. www.grid-design.lu

Media & technology Its MoodMe software transforms 2D photos into more “lifelike” 3D images, which can be used as avatars on social media sites like Facebook and mobile devices that run on the Android--and soon Apple--platform. The technology is already patented in the EU and US, says Chandra De Keyser. Eventually e-commerce sites could let customers try on, for example, a pair of sunglasses virtually. Based at the Technoport in Esch, the six-person start-up plans to set-up shop at a Silicon Valley incubator this month. www.mach-3d.com

OCTOBER 2012

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The use of 3D technologies is also beginning to make its mark in the internet world. For example, Mach-3D’s “Moodme” software lets users create “a 3D online identity in tune with your mood” and then share your current emotional state via social media and mobile devices. The six-person, three-nationality start-up has completed two early rounds of funding and hopes to break even by 2014, explains co-founder and CEO Chandra De Keyser. As Delano went to press, the firm was expecting the signature of Etienne Schneider, the economy and trade minister, on an accord that could significantly boost its growth. Mach-3D has been selected to be the sole Luxembourg start-up in the current round of the official exchange programme between the Grand Duchy’s economy ministry and the well-known Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play Tech Center. “This is a key step to become a global emotional communications operator,” says De Keyser, who plans to move to California this month for the start-up’s official three-month residency. Luxembourg’s government will help offset some of the firm’s expenses during his stint, which, the ministry explains, consists of “an intensive entrepreneurship training program” and structured networking with Silicon Valley investors, executives and fellow entrepreneurs. De Keyser says “we are preparing something to ‘wow’ [Facebook founder and CEO Marc] Zuckerberg!” To see what De Keyser calls “Facebook à la Moodme,” go to: http://goo.gl/Ana5T. Three dimensional imaging also is beginning to have a notable impact in scientific research, particularly in the health and biomedical fields.

Neuwieser/Creative Commons

BUSINESS

EDELMIRO MOMAN Uses technology originally created for video games to help research drugs to treat cancer and Parkinson’s disease v

Edelmiro Moman founded ProSciens so he could stop commuting to his research job in Saarland from his home in Luxembourg, where his wife works for a European institution. Moman, who has a PhD in organic chemistry, plowed his life savings into the one-man venture that he hopes will remake research into drug development by using computer systems to model promising molecules. He notes that traditional biological laboratory research is an arduous and costly affair. “If you can narrow down the possibilities in silicon, that will save a lot of time and money. The idea of molecular modelling is to come up with predictions of how molecules will behave.” His virtual screening system aims to help researchers speed up their first look at, for example, an interesting protein or ligand, which links up proteins. “Instead of testing in the lab you do it on the computer, and narrow down candidates from millions to dozens so the number of [traditional] experiments is lower.” Right now Moman uses a powerful workstation at his home office that runs off the chips that were originally designed to handle gaming software’s huge appetite for computing power that, for example, makes 3D visuals look so realistic. “Now you can do number crunching with graphic cards. They are not just for graphic display anymore, but you can benefit from the power to run calculations on them.” He explains that “you can have two or three hundred small processors, each not very powerful. But the advantage of this is that you can have lot of computing power in a small space.” That is something to focus the mind’s eye.

07

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ONYX LUX 3D

PROSCIENS

SEEZAM

TRENDICTION

Media & technology The 3D film and TV animation house behind runaway success Le Petit Prince hopes to have another hit on its hands. Next year it will begin work for the French producers of Le Prince et les 108 Démons, which is based on the classic Chinese novel Outlaws of the Water Margin. “In 3D we are alone,” says Regis Drujont. “No one in Europe has the experience in 3D like Onyx Lux 3D” to pull off such ambitious 3D animation projects. The Prince and the 108 Demons is currently scheduled for release in summer 2014. www.onyxlux3d.com

40

Health

The firm screens molecules to find promising leads that will be studied in traditional labs, says Edelmiro Moman. In addition to helping find brand new drugs for diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s, the approach can help researchers “better understand the interaction of drugs that you’re dealing with” to improve a drug’s efficiency and avoid negative side-effects. Up next: the firm is working on a peer-reviewed scientific paper to validate its methodology, which will help ProSciens market the technology. www.prosciens.com

Media & technology Pierre Van Wambeke founded Seezam in 2009 after the “jigsaw nightmare” of tracking down bank and insurance documents in three countries following his grandmother’s death. Today the firm offers an online repository to safeguard financial, health and other confidential data. Luxembourg’s privacy rules and the “military level” encryption used is so strong that he says, for legal reasons, Seezam can only offer its service within the EU. Next up: the launch of a stealth USB key that leaves no trace of your activity on a PC. www.seezam.com

Media & technology Four-year-old Trendiction collects and analyses data found on social media and web sites for marketing and communications departments. The 12-person start-up says its home-grown technology crawls more than 20 million online sources daily. Trendiction has already scored some major clients-even some of the “Big 4” consultancies--mainly in German and French speaking countries. In June co-founder and CEO Thibaut Britz received top prize at the 6th annual Creative Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg ceremony. www.trendiction.com

OCTOBER 2012

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Alone

in business? No you’re not! The Business Portal provides you with comprehensive information on setting up and running your business in Luxembourg as well as an online access to all administrative procedures.

www.business.lu

the Point of Single Contact of the Luxembourg Government


THINK LOCAL

Czech

“THE BIG ENEMY OF A NEWCOMER IS ISOLATION” Four year resident in Luxembourg Patrik Bitomský gives his insight into living and working in the Grand Duchy. Interview by Aaron Grunwald Photography by Olivier Minaire

Born in Opava, Patrik Bitomský studied design in Prague. He previously was an art director at advertising agency McCann-Erickson and creative director of the Czech edition of Marie Claire. Today he is a graphic designer at a major publishing group and president of the 40 year old association ATSL, the Czech and Slovak Friends of Luxembourg.

PATRIK BITOMSKÝ Maintain your friendships and hobbies

42 42_ThinkLocal.indd 42

AG: What brought you to Luxembourg? PB: I was very happy in Prague. I was not looking for anything particular. But I got an opportunity to study French here, and wanted to try it; to see how it is abroad and to do something in an international place. And that was it for me, the possibility to try it. AG: After you arrived, what surprised you the most? PB: I thought it would be somehow easier, in many, many ways. The work market is very closed, I would say. I was lucky that I had friends from before [because] I had the opportunity to participate in some cultural activities before I moved here. So I knew some people. That probably made it much easier for me. And maybe the language barrier. It was not enough with English. So I really started [studying] French and now Luxembourgish as well. Today, after four years, I am able to speak French and I am very happy about that. I have other languages, of course, coming from the Czech Republic. I speak Czech, Slovak and I can speak Polish and Russian, and I have basic German. In this international place, you have to be able to easily switch from one language to another one. And that was not very funny in the beginning. AG: How did you become involved with the ATSL? PB: I got the idea to organise a festival of Czech films. I was somehow missing Czech culture. I used to have a lot of contact with cultural [organisations] in the Czech Republic, so it was easy for me to make direct contact with some directors, distributors and producers. I organised two festivals. During the two years that I did the Czech film festi-

val here, I met many Czech and Slovak people and I started to cooperate on that project with the association. Now there’s another film festival, from Eastern Europe, CinEast. I decided to help CinEast and let go of the festival that I founded. And [now] there are more activities [organised by ASTL]. AG: The Czech government said it is closing its embassy in Luxembourg next year. How do you feel about that? PB: I think it is very sad. I feel that this embassy is very, very important. Not only for me as a Czech person, but it is a very symbolic place for Luxembourgers. It is the house of the former prime minister, Pierre Werner, and I think that is very important. We are organising a petition against this closure; we are collecting signatures. We will see what will happen, because we are not very happy about that. I’m not happy as a citizen, and I’m not happy as the president of the association. AG: What advice do you have for newcomers? PB: To be patient. I think that’s important. And it is very important to come here with your hobbies. I became a member of a design organisation, Design Friends, and I am a member of the Terrier Club of Luxembourg, because I have a Jack Russell Terrier. AG: Is that the best way to connect with people here? PB: I think so. The big enemy of a newcomer is isolation. What I would say is really to try to find friends. Not to forget the old ones from your country; try to keep in touch. Develop your life, but don’t forget the things that you used to do in your life before.

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:08


Your one-stop reference on European integration

For all you need to know about the European integration process, visit us on our new website: www.cvce.eu.

Knowing the past to build the future Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe, Luxembourg


EVENT PLANNER

TEN EVENTS

Delano presents a selection of the next two months of 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.

British Chamber

Nobelux

www.bcc.lu

9 OCTOBER ALTERNATIVE FUNDS

Conference offering the Nordic perspective on sustainable investments, from impact funds to green buildings. Speakers include Hanna Teleman of the Swedish Investment Fund Association. Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:00-15:30

DLWI

www.dlwi.lu

18

Hanna Teleman / Swedish Investment Fund Association

www.nobelux.lu

www.luxembourg-gaming.com

OCTOBER

FALL CONFAB

10 OCTOBER TRADE FAIR

Fifth annual members’ trade fair and evening business forum on “Your digital life”, which looks at the impact of technology on the “bricks and mortar” world. Speakers include P&T LuxGSM’s Luc Welter. BGL BNP Paribas, avenue Monterey, Luxembourg-Centre, 17:30

The German-Luxembourg Economic Initiative’s big autumn networking event, for those interested in boosting ties with the Grand Duchy’s biggest trading partner. English-friendly. Sofitel-Le Grand Ducal, Luxembourg-Gare, 18:00

Hack.lu www.hack.lu

Junior Chamber 11-13 OCTOBER YOUNG ORATORS

The 2nd Public Speaking and Debating Academy aims to sharpen young professionals’ communications skills. This year’s theme: “Integration in Luxembourg”. Multiple locations in Luxembourg City, all day

The Network

14 NOVEMBER LUXEMBOURG GAMING

Conference and networking confab brings together players from across the European online gaming, digital entertainment and ICT industry. Speakers include communications minister François Biltgen. Luxexpo, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 12:00-22:00

Female chiefs

www.jci.lu

club.paperjam.lu

LU-CIX

www.ffcel.lu

23-25 OCTOBER ELECTRONIC SECURITY

“The aim of the convention is to make a bridge of the various actors in the computer security world.” The 9th annual forum also features talks on privacy and the cultural impact of IT on society. Hotel Parc Alvisse, Luxembourg-Dommeldange, all day

FOUND A FIRM

The Fédération des Femmes Cheffes d’Entreprise du Luxembourg, for women who own their own companies, hosts an event for the general public on Business Creation Day. Venue and time to be announced

ALFI

www.alfi.lu

www.the-network.lu

9 OCTOBER TALENT WAR

Nastja Raabe of CoachDynamix outlines an approach “to optimise the talent available in an organisation” that will help businesses retain and develop their talented staff. Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg-Grund, 08:30-13:30

20-21 NOVEMBER 17

OCTOBER

WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Panel on the challenges faced by working women. “The aim is to provide insights and hints that prove the combination of both family life and a fulfilling professional career are possible,” says Cindi Wilson. Sofitel, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, 19:30

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ALTERNATIVES

The European Alternative Investments Funds Conference is an authoritative look at the hedge, private equity and real estate funds spaces. Speakers include Luxembourg Freeport chief David Arendt. Conference Centre, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, all day

OCTOBER 2012

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CA(FÉ)SINO POPS UP IN ART CENTRE The launch of an ambitious three-month programme at the Casino – Luxembourg also sees the art museum’s “aquarium” transformed into a temporary café by Ture Hedberg and the team from Konrad Café & Bar. Ca(fé)sino, as it has been named, is a cool yet cosy space with furniture recycled from old palettes. It is open for snacks and drinks from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The café is already proving popular with visitors and the artists involved in the Atelier Luxembourg--Making of project. www.casino-luxembourg.lu

TOP BANANA

25+ STYLE

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS

EXCLUSIVE VINTAGE

Bananas remain the most popular Fair Trade product in Luxembourg, according to a survey conducted to mark the 20th anniversary of Fair Trade Luxembourg. 32 percent regularly buy Fair Trade banana, with coffee (22%) and chocolate (20%) the next most popular items.

Honey & Mustard is the new venture by the team that runs the hugely popular Extrabold. The new store, in the rue des Marchés aux Herbes, next to Urban, is aimed at an older fashion conscious shopper than the avenue de la Gare street wear store says the company’s Thomas Decker.

Belle’s Boutique, hosted in The Art of Good Taste on rue Alfred de Musset in Limpertsberg, specialises in organic and Fair Trade baby & kids clothing. But that does not mean the clothes are dull and frumpy--“they are colourful and fun,” says owner Rachel Mallon. www.bellesbump2baby.com

Rob Vintage, is a new store-in-store at Luxembourg’s first designer furniture outlet, Rob CarréRouge on rue de Hollerich. Run by Michèle Rob and Nichlas Lorendsen it specialises in vintage furniture and lighting and exclusive designer pieces from the 1950s through to the1980s. www.carrerouge.lu

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OCTOBER 2012

26/9/12 7:10 PM


LIFESTYLE

CELEBRATE RAMAYANA

AFFORDABLE DESIGN PLATFORM

Lek Zimmer’s Thailand and Thai Celadon restaurants are hosting their traditional Ramayana festivals until October 21. This year’s menu is particularly interesting, with an array of delicate flavours over the four-courses that includes a beautiful Dorade and duck with a light Betel leaf tempura. The whole is a triumph accompanied by a Kohll Leuck Pinot Noir. www.thai.lu

Some of the best players on the women’s tennis tour will be at Kockelscheuer from October 13 to 21 for the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open. The line-up is the strongest ever features Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Yanina Wickmayer and Daniela Hantuchova (photo), who returns for her tenth appearance. www.bglbnpparibas-open.lu

DOMAINE ET TRADITION UNVEILED Seven of Luxembourg’s best vintners recently presented their 2011 Domaine et Tradition wines. The label is accorded to carefully selected wines reserved for private sale or for exclusive restaurants by Thill Frères, Sunnen-Hoffmann, Gales, Mathis Bastian, Mme Aly Duhr et Fils, Clos Mon Vieux Moulin, Duhr Frères, and Clos des Rochers.

Julien Becker

HERE COME THE GIRLS

At Noon is a new Luxembourg-based Internet platform for affordable design objects, aimed at creators and buyers. Created by a group of design enthusiasts, its goal is to become not only a commercial platform by providing visibility to designers and brands, but also to be a “source of inspiration”, presenting new generation designers and their objects. www.atnoon.com

STALKING COPYCATS “He is masked to unmask copycats,” journalist France Clarinval explains in the preface to his book. He is “Joe La Pompe” and his new book is 100 Visual Ideas – 1000 Great Ads, published last month by Maison Moderne. Over ten years ago Joe La Pompe started calling out identical adverts on his website (www.joelapompe.net), which led to contributions to trade publications in Belgium and France. For his new book--available in English, French and German--Joe revisited his vast collection, and ends up presenting the 100 most frequently used and abused themes and symbols-everything from Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer Statue and space invaders to Napoleon Bonaparte and Osama bin Laden--and then offers up his selection of the best ten. You may not agree with him, and you wouldn’t be alone. One reason he continues to write under a pseudonym to this day is the steady stream of angry messages that he receives. www.maisonmoderne.lu

CURATED ONLINE MARKETPLACE Viviane Bumb recently launched qip home, a curated online marketplace for design and craft. The website allows designers, craftsmen, small manufacturers and concept stores to sell unique furniture and home accessories online (with free delivery). So far, the marketplace is only available in German. www.qiphome.com

DAVID GOLDRAKE RETURNS Luxembourg’s best known magician, David Goldrake, has a new show entitled Arcana-mysteries of magic. The show is touring the country and is described by the artist as “a journey through imaginative visions and tableaux.” It features a number of classic illusions as well as innovative experiments in mindreading and escapology. www.davidgoldrake.com OCTOBER 2012

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CLUB NEWS

02

Each month Delano will highlight upcoming activities and events organised by clubs and associations in Luxembourg. The focus will be on English-language events. We welcome submissions to this page--a brief text and photo where possible--via news@delano.lu.

US ELECTIONS DEBATES

01

Republicans Abroad and Democrats Abroad Luxembourg, in association with the United States Embassy and Miami University, are hosting a debate ahead of the US election in November. It will provide background to the electoral system and allow for questions. It is scheduled for Wednesday October 10 at 7 p.m. at Miami University, Château de Differdange in Differdange. www.democratsabroad.org/group/ luxembourg; www.republicansabroad.lu 03

TRICK OR TREAT The American Women’s Club’s annual Trick or Treat is always a very popular event. This year, children signed up in advance will be able to knock on doors and collect candy in a neighbourhood in Bertrange, on October 20. Demand is usually high so sign up early. www.awcluxembourg.com 04

Comhaltas

PURE IRISH DROPS

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Irish cultural association Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Luxembourg has a tradition of bringing to the Grand Duchy some of the finest Irish musicians under the Pure Irish Drops banner. This year, titled “Home away from home”, the focus is on musicians who have grown up in the most populous Irish communities in England. The trio that will play at Château de Bettembourg on October 19 are: Kevin Crawford (tin whistle, bodhrán and wooden flute) from world-famous band Lúnasa, born of Irish parents in Birmingham; Damien Mullane (button accordion), who moved with his parents

to London at the age of one, and recently returned to Kerry; and Colin Farrell (fiddle), born in Manchester to Irish parents from Galway and Cavan. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and entrance costs 15 euro for Comhaltas members, 20 euro for non-members, with children paying half price. Comhaltas holds regular Closet Musician Sessions under the guidance of Terry O’Brien. The association also organises classes in Adult Set Dance and Children’s Step Dance. An annual Céilí is held around the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March. www.comhaltas.lu

DIWALI A vibrant celebration of Indian culture, Diwali is a traditional festival of lights. The Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg is hosting a Diwali celebration featuring a Bollywood musical and dance show as well as Indian food and a DJ with open dance floor until 1 a.m. The event takes place on October 27 at 6.30 p.m. at the Parc Alvisse Hotel. www.ibcl.lu

OCTOBER 2012

27/9/12 3:37 PM


LIFESTYLE

Breast cancer awareness

STRENGTH THROUGH PINK

October is now a month flooded with pink. Breast Cancer Awareness Month each year sees millions of volunteers make a concerted effort to raise the profile of preventative measures and research and show support for patients, survivors and the relatives of those who have succumbed to the disease. In Luxembourg a number of groups raise money and awareness all year round, while scientists continue to pursue research into finding better treatments. Text by Duncan Roberts Photography by Olivier Minaire

E

ven in death, some people continue to be an inspiration. Marian Aldred is one such case. The former communications director at the International School of Luxembourg died in December 2011 after a brave eight-year battled with ovarian cancer, but a group of her friends and colleagues continue her good work for Think Pink Lux. Indeed, so inspired were they that a number of runners from the awareness group raised some 21,000 euro at this year’s ING europe-marathon Luxembourg and in June and donated that amount as an award in Marian’s name to the Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Cancer (LBMCC). The research lab is using the money to finance PhD researcher Florian Muller. Joanna Vanot, supported by her father Laurent and brother Keenan, paid a moving tribute to her mother at the cheque handover. Recounting the meeting of her parents and how Marian, a teacher by profession, ended up at the International School of Luxembourg as the communications director, Joanna said: “She was always a teacher and always a learner.” Marian was first diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer in 2003, when Joanna was just 13. Both daughter and husband clearly admired Marian’s bravery and the way she met the challenge of her treatments. Joanna

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recalled them all going to a New Year’s Eve party in 2003, after Marian had earlier undergone her first chemotherapy session. Asked at the party whether she was not supposed to have had chemo that day, Marian answered simply, “I did. But the cancer will not stop me from having fun.” Joanna explains that Marian cofounded Think Pink Lux not only because its mission hit home personally, but because of her “passion for others, research and support for this difficult challenge. Above all, she placed great value on education.”

"SHE WAS ALWAYS A TEACHER AND ALWAYS A LEARNER" JOANNA VANOT ON HER MOTHER MARIAN ALDRED

Private lab Dr. Marc Diederich, head of the LBMCC lab, exemplifies that approach. In 2004, he moved to the brand new hospital in Kirchberg where his team has some 600 square metres that it rents with the help of the government. But that is the only state help the LBMCC receives. “We are a private lab, so we survive on donations and private funding.” With an annual budget of between 1.5 to 1.8 million euro for 25 scientists, as well as equipment to purchase, that means not only depending on charitable and private donations--LBMCC is the main Télévie lab in Luxembourg, so profits from that major annual fundraiser--

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:22


LIFESTYLE

JOANNA VANOT Dignified tribute

but also working closely with pharmaceutical companies and tapping in to European Union research funds. But even at 600 metres, the space is cramped, with researchers sitting in close proximity at lab benches that also serve as their office. “We also have between three and six PhD students at any one time,” Diederich explains. Collaborating with universities in France, Germany and Belgium, Diederich is flooded with applications from students every day. The head of the lab is not attached to the University of Luxembourg--“they are moving in another very specific direction regarding bio informatics and personalised medicine”--but rather to the Seoul National University, “which is a little bit strange,” he admits. He splits his time during the winter semester shuttling between Korea and Luxembourg, though part of the LBMCC lab is now in Seoul, which allows him to continue his research while at the university. Besides publishing the PhD students’ theses, the lab also published around two Medline referenced articles a month, some 25 a year, which is impressive. “That is quite rewarding. Since 2007, we have really managed to increase our scientific output quite significantly. It helps us gain international recognition.”

OCTOBER 2012

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LIFESTYLE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

DR. MARC DIEDERICH International recognition for cancer research

Events: October 6 - Broschtkriibslaf 4km fun run through the Petrusse valley starting from Abbaye de Neumünster www.broschtkriibslaf.lu October 13 - Think Pink Fashion event Buffet dinner-dance, fashion show and auction at Mercedes Benz, Hollerich www.thinkpinklux.com October 20 - Breast Health Day Fitness events, gala dinner, lingerie show and dancing at Abbaye de Neumünster http://europadonna.asbl4free. lu/fr

Screening programme Europa Donna’s goal is to mobilise the support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, appropriate screening, optimal treatment and increased funding for research. While breast cancer, like all cancers, is indiscriminate and anyone can fall victim to the disease, Europa Donna seeks to encourage women to pursue a health strategy that will reduce known breast cancer risk factors as much as possible. This includes some advice that may seem obvious, such as avoiding

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obesity and weight gain and increasing physical activity. But the coalition also warns that research has indicated a connection between hormone replacement therapy and the use of oral contraceptives and the risk of developing breast cancer. And, of course, the campaigners also advocate population-based mammography screening programmes. “Attending screening has been shown to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by up to 35 percent for women between the ages of 50 and 69,” says Europa Donna. But while prevention is better than cure, hope comes in the form of findings from Dr. Diederich’s research into the treatment of breast cancer cells with a specific cardiac glycoside derived from the Ayurvedic desert plant Calotropisprocera. “Treatment leads to cancer cell growth inhibition and may even trigger breast cancer cell death,” says Diederich. “Interestingly, we observed this effect already at very low doses, which minimize the development of any side effects. For this project, we aim to understand how cardiac glycosides activate this interesting anti-cancer effect, especially on breast cancer.”

Around

350 women are currently diagnosed with cancer in Luxembourg

450,332

new cases of breast cancer in Europe every year

Source: Europa Donna asbl - International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010

Meanwhile, another group of women calling themselves Pink Ladies has also been busy fund-raising and creating awareness. A summer gala event resulted in a cheque for 5,000 euro being handed over to the Luxembourg arm of Europa Donna, the European Breast Cancer Coalition, that each October organises events in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The programme includes the ever popular Broschtkriibslaf (breast cancer run) and a Breast Health Day gala dinner.

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:22


CONSTRUCTION • RENOVATION • DECORATION • INTERIOR DESIGN

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02

WHICH WAY TO WELLNESS?

TRUE NATUROPATHY

When leaves and temperatures begin to fall, so do energy levels. Instead of giving in to the autumn blues, keep spirits high with some “you time”. Taking care of your general well-being will have an effect on all aspects of your life. NC

Sparkling owner of Natural Health Solutions, Tessa Montague, is an expert naturopath and massage therapist. She uses natural forms of healthcare that include herbal remedies, nutritional supplements and dietary and lifestyle advice to promote well-being and quality of life. Natural Health Solutions, Sandweiler, tel.: 661 20 24 72, www.naturalhealth.lu

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Salzgrotte

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SALT GROTTO TIMEOUT It may seem like a strange idea to go sit in a salt grotto replica, but it is actually a very relaxing and balancing experience. The air being rich in minerals and microelements. It also has a beneficial effect on health, helping anything from allergies to sleeping disorders. Salzgrotte, Um Räilend 31, Junglinster, www.salzgrotte.lu

Denis Tombal

04

Aromatherapy

BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN YOU 54

Anna Dannfelt is not only a renowned aromatherapist, she is also a life guide and teacher of the kind you rarely meet and never forget. Her motto (and the name of her popular workshops): Create yourself. “It’s about being centred in yourself. Stress-management, aromatherapy, essential oils and self-development are tools to enhance and build the kind of life you want and to learn how to deal with things around and within you. It is about being in balance on all levels: physical, emotional and mental. Everybody is not the same, individuality is the key. By finding your strengths and understanding your weaknesses, you are much more able to create the kind of life where you will feel comfortable with yourself, family, work and free time.” Anna Dannfelt conducts workshops, one-on-one consultations, group sessions and presentations. There are no set formats--she creates what suits the individual, group or situation best. “The basic idea is that we have more control over ourselves and our lives than we believe and it is time to tap in to those dormant resources that we carry within!” Anna Dannfelt, tel.: 621 39 27 76, www.annadannfelt.com, dannfelt@pt.lu

CHIROPRACTICAL SOLUTIONS Jesse Goldswain lives and breathes chiropractic, so if you’re looking for a noninvasive management of your spine and joint disorders, he’s the man. “We use gentle application of adjustments to restore function and promote the body’s natural healing response.” 11a rue Principale, Sandweiler, tel.: 661 863 599, www.mychiro.lu

OCTOBER 2012

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26/9/12 7:17 PM


LIFESTYLE 10

09

Jette Wede

Spa Anywhere

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Mondorf Thermal Domain Spa

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SERENITY THROUGH MINDFULNESS

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

“Just as we use physical exercises to improve our bodily health, mindfulness can be used to develop wellbeing of the mind”. Life-coach Elisabeth Møllgaard will introduce you to mindfulness in small, English-speaking groups. “The focus is on practical meditation, breathing exercises, awareness of and much more.” www.emcoaching.lu

Oriental medicine professionals Josie and Emma Doyle join the Chiropractic and Wellness clinic in Kirchberg this month, offering a large array of traditional Chinese treatments, including relaxation and rebalancing treatments. Luxembourg Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic, 239 val des Bons Malades, Luxembourg, tel.: 621 23 79 48 and 26 31 18 12,

MOBILE RELAXATION

FULL SPA EXPERIENCE

Spa Anywhere brings massages, facials, body care and hand and foot treatments to where ever you are--at your hotel, work, home or at a special event--and whenever you want (days, evenings, weekend). Says owner Dorothy Germaine: “I help people add or put back meaningful moments to their busy lifestyle.” Tel.: 621 64 76 37, www.spaanywhereanytime.lu

The Mondorf Thermal Domain Spa promises everything from a “physical and spiritual experience” to “gentle pleasures”! Every body and skin treatment you can dream of is offered here, including massage, LaStone therapy, cranio-sacral balancing, algue wraps or even a Scottish rub. Mondorf Parc Hotel, 52 avenue des Bains, Mondorf-les-Bains, www.mondorf.lu 11

Zen Attitude

06

THAI MASSAGE AND REIKI Anyone who’s had a real Thai massage knows the exhilarating effect it can have. Staff at Zen Attitude are graduates of the Wat Po school in Bangkok, so you’re getting the genuine thing. You can also experience gentler, but surprisingly intense Reiki treatments. Zen Attitude, 30 rue des Romains, Strassen, tel.: 621 25 21 22, www.zenattitude.lu

THE COMPLETE PACKAGE The Hotel International in Clervaux has an extremely comfortable and complete wellness centre, where you can get full spa treatments and beauty treatments of all sorts. There’s also a sauna, a hammam, a relaxation room, a Kniep… Everything you need to pamper yourself and de-stress. Hotel International, 10 Grand-Rue, Clervaux, www.interclervaux.lu

Yogaloft

Hotel International

07

ROOM FOR YOGA

“Many people are afraid to do their first yoga steps, but yoga is not about competing, performing or being judged or judgemental. It’s about connecting to you inner source and realising that everything is within yourself: your strength--both physical and mental--your balance, peace and joy.” With Yogaloft, Isabelle Thill has created the perfect space for both yoga newbies and those who have been practising a while. Different classes are available (such as drop-in classes, flow yoga, flow vinyasa and ashtanga) throughout the week. If you know

anyone doing yoga, chances are you‘ve already heard how good it makes them feel. If not, let’s sum it up: yoga promotes suppleness of spine and joints, strengthens, tones and builds muscles, eliminates toxins, relaxes the nervous system, increases body awareness, promotes weight reduction, calms the mind, centres attention, sharpens concentration and frees the spirit. All things most of us need! Yogaloft, 11 rue Guillaume de Machault, Luxembourg, tel.: 26 25 97 90, www.yogaloft.lu OCTOBER 2012

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LIFESTYLE TIMOTHY LONE AND ERIK ABBOTT Filling a niche

Theatre

CALLING TEACHERS TO THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

Theatre

IN GOOD COMPANY Launching a professional English-language theatre company in Luxembourg is a dream and a real challenge for founders Timothy Lone and Erik Abbott. Text by Duncan Roberts Photo by Olivier Minaire

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he Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg, the brainchild of American residents Timothy Lone and Erik Abbott, already has a production in the pipeline. Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? will be performed at the Théâtre National next June. Quite independently of each other, Abbott and Lone had thought about setting up their own company shortly after arriving in Luxembourg. “Probably everyone in the theatre wants to be part of a professional ensemble, and in terms of English-speaking theatre there was a niche to be filled,” explains Abbott. “We were fortunate to have a conflation of circumstances and people with drive and passion coming together.” The company has a core membership of ten, most of whom bring some sort of creative skills on board. And when a production is up and running, the plan is to cast

locally where possible--“we are very focused on being a Luxembourgbased company,” says Lone--and to pay everyone involved on a professional basis. “Ultimately, the dream is to put on a full professional season.” The company’s first show is in conjunction with the TNL, because, as Lone explains, the Albee play fits in with the sort of productions they were putting on. Indeed, Lone had already spoken with the TNL’s Anne Simon, who has been instrumental in putting on other English language plays at the theatre. Meanwhile, the company is seeking financing. “As a new independent professional company, we need proper funding. There is not a lot of revenue coming through ticket sales, because the thing about Luxembourg is that the number of performances is limited, no matter what language you are performing in.” www.actorsrep.lu

As a parting shot to Luxembourg, Fran Potasnik and Adrian Diffey have chosen to give audiences a real treat with a production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. The show, produced by the TNL with the couple’s Mind The Gap company, will be performed at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg over several dates in early December. Delano will have more insight into the production in its November edition, but teachers of English and drama may be interested in already reserving special question-and–answer sessions at the theatre following the performance or an informational presentation for their school prior to the performance. Enquiries can be made with Mind The Gap via email: adrian.diffey@education.lu. www.tnl.lu

PIRATES IN BAD HABITS Directed by Neil Johnson, Dan Goggin’s 1985 musical Nunsense is the next show being put on by Pirate Productions. It plays in Esch-Alzette and Luxembourg City over two weekends in October. www.pirates.lu

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:15


Staying well means lots of care and a little maintenance.

Just as you take care of your body, take care of your surroundings. Your boiler, your air conditioning, your bathroom... Think about their upkeep. For installation or repairs, make sure there is maintenance and aftercare for your facilities. Reckinger has been here to help for more than a hundred years. tel.: (+352) 55 42 42 | fax: (+352) 57 02 62 | www.reckinger-alfred.lu surveys installation repairs maintenance | heating bathrooms ventilation air-con electricity

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LIFESTYLE 02

Pierre Janduad

11 LIVE PERFORMANCES From a Scottish themed evening at the Philharmonie to the sonic boom of a Brighton duo at Soulkitchen via soulful female voices and dynamic Japanese dance, the next month is packed with variety at Luxembourg’s premier live venues.

KAORI ITO Choreographer Kaori Ito says her Japanese background is often unconsciously expressed in her creations. Her latest work, Island of No Memories, harks back to her experiences of living in Japan even though it started off with research that had little to do with her native county. October 23, Grand Théâtre, LuxembourgLimpertsberg, www.theatres.lu

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SONNY ROLLINS & BAND Jazz legend Sonny Rollins brings his quintet to the Philharmonie, two years after he last performed here as part of his 80th birthday tour. Rollins has played with his great contemporaries Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Max Roach. Even at 82, he retains his reputation as a “saxophone colossus” on stage. November 8, Philharmonie, Luxembourg -Kirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu

Philip Gatward

04

Aventure+

CELTIC CONNECTION Scottish composer James MacMillan conducts the OPL in an Aventure+ programme featuring two of his own works and two by Master of the Queen’s Music Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel is a concerto for percussion and orchestra that was first performed by renowned Scottish percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. It will be performed at the Philharmonie by fellow Scot Colin Currie, who first caught public attention by becoming the first percussionist to reach the finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1994. Also on the programme is The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, MacMillan’s breakthrough requiem for a woman burned as a witch in 1662. The two works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies also have a Scottish theme – Renaissance Scottish Dances and An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise which is one of the few classical orchestral works to feature a solo bagpipe (in this case a cornemuse played here by Gilles Wunsch). The Aventure+ events always features a themed performance in the foyer after the main concert – on this occasion the Luxembourg Pipe Band will play typical Highland tunes and traditional bagpipe music. October 19, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu

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MADELEINE PEYROUX Listing Billie Holiday as an influence is one thing --having your vocal style compared favourably to Holiday’s is quite another. Best known for her song ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’, Peyroux is touring with last year’s Standing On The Rooftop album which features her own compositions and covers of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Robert Johnson songs. November 9, den Atelier, Luxembourg-Hollerich, www.atelier.lu

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:21


La Médiathèque de la BnL 04.10. 06 .10. 09.10. 10.10. 11.10. 13.10. 14.10. 14.10. 15.10. 18.10. 21.10. 25.10. 26.10.

CARAVAN PALACE ROCKTOOLS SHOWCASE NIGHT (FREE ENTRY) FILIAMOTSA (FREE ENTRY) REFUSED EUROPEAN OUTDOOR FILM TOUR 12/13 LES OGRES DE BARBACK GET WELL SOON INTERNATIONAL RECORD FAIR TEAM ME (FREE ENTRY) JOHNNY HALLYDAY JOHN CALE AUGUST BURNS RED FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE (FREE ENTRY)

27.10. 28.10.

ROMAN LOB BRIT FLOYD

03.11. 03.11. 07.11. 08.11. 09.11. 10.11. 11.11. 11.11.

GOTYE CITIZENS! LIONEL RICHIE DEEP PURPLE VITALIC MATT CORBY KETTCAR ALANIS MORISSETTE GUARDIAN ANGEL TOUR

13.11. 16.11.

JASON MRAZ THE FINAL STING SCORPIONS FAREWELL WORLD TOUR 2012

NETSKY 17.11. DEICHKIND 18.11. SAEZ (SOLD OUT) 22.11. ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA 23.+24.11. SONIC VISIONS FESTIVAL 2012 16.11.

(THE XX, DEAD C T BOUNCE, CLOCK OPERA AND MANY MORE)

THE WORLD’S GREATEST PINK FLOYD SHOW

27.11.

30.10.

MONOGRENADE

28.11.

(FREE ENTRY)

31.10.

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH THE CRANBERRIES

30.11.

02.11.

films & documentaries luxemburgensia audio books & music language methods free loan www.bnl.lu

01.12.

DRAGONFORCE FLORENCE & THE MACHINE PSY 4 DE LA RIME TWINS OF EVIL TOUR: MARYLIN MANSON & ROB ZOMBIE

Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday : 10:30 - 18:30 Saturday: 9:00 - 12:00 37, Boulevard F.D. Roosevelt L-2450 Luxembourg

02.12. 04.12.

CRYSTAL CASTLES AMY MACDONALD LIFE IN A BEAUTIFULL LIGHT TOUR

05.12. 06.12. 07.12. 07.12.

DAN SAN (FREE ENTRY) STUPEFLIP: NOUVEAU SPECTAC WAX TAILOR STAHLZEIT

JOHN CALE 21-10-2012

THE RAMMSTEIN TRIBUTE SHOW NO 1

12.12.

IN EXTREMO MONO CHILLY GONZALES

13.12.

SILBERMOND

25.01.

EMILY LOIZEAU

26.01.

SUAREZ

02.02.

ZITA SWOON GROUP

09.02.

LILLY WOOD AND THE PRICK

28.02.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

19.03.

JOE BONAMASSA

08.12. 11.12.

SOLO PIANO II

THE CRANBERRIES 02-11-2012

16.-21.04. WE WILL ROCK YOU

20.04.

ARNO

26.04.

THE BOOTLEG BEATLES

15.05.

AN EVENING WITH MARK KNOPFLER AND BAND

GOTYE 03-11-2012

www.rockhal.lu LIONEL RICHIE 07-11-2012

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LIFESTYLE 05

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THE BLACKBYRDS Pioneering jazz funk outfit The Blackbyrds was formed some 40 years ago by jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd. The group had a couple of hit singles ‘Walking In Rhythm’, and ‘Do It Fluid’. Now reformed by drummer Keith Killgo, the band has released a new album entitled Gotta Fly, which features its trademark sound (including some great flute) made contemporary. October 16, opderschmelz, Dudelange, www.opderschmelz.lu

JOHN CALE You wait forever for a former member of The Velvet Underground to come to Luxembourg and then two arrive at once. John Cale follows former band mate Lou Reed in playing the Rockhal. Always keen to experiment musically, Cale has just released a new album, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood; his first since 2005’s Black Acetate. October 21, Rockhal, Esch-Belval, www.rockhal.lu

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THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR

BLOOD RED SHOES

Robert Maxwell

Brighton duo Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell return to Luxembourg. This time the band is restricted to the intimate space of Soulkitchen, which will make their post-punk noise even more powerful and unremitting. Having said that, new album In Time To Voices sees the duo produce a more melodic and polished sound. October 23, Soulkitchen, Luxembourg-Hollerich, www.atelier.lu

Old updates

Cybele Maliawski

GOTYE

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DIANA KRALL

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Who would have predicted at the start of 2012 that a Belgian artist would end up with the biggest hit of the year? Gotye, born Wouter De Backer in Bruges, has topped the charts in 18 countries with ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. His album, Making Mirrors, has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. November 3, Rockhal, Esch-Belval, www.rockhal.lu

Infectious sixties-inspired soulful pop is the specialty of Danish outfit The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Glamorous singer Mette Lindberg and multi-instrumentalist Lars Iversen has released incredibly catchy singles ‘The Sun Ain’t Shining No More’ and ‘The Golden Age’. It is now on tour with second album Out Of Frequency. October 9, den Atelier, Luxembourg-Hollerich, www.atelier.lu

A graduate of the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Canadian native Diana Krall is a veritable superstar of contemporary jazz. Krall had already begun playing piano at the age of four--her father played the instrument at home and her mother was an enthusiastic singer--and was playing in jazz clubs at the age of fifteen. Since 1993 she has released 11 studio albums and a couple of live recordings, and has received nominations for best vocal jazz album at the Grammys (she won with 2003’s Live in Paris). She performed to a great reception at the Philharmonie in 2009 with her Quiet Nights album, and returns now to support new album Glad Rag Doll. Produced by T-Bone Burnett (a friend and collaborator of her husband, Elvis Costello), the album features updated versions of old time songs, many by American musicians of the 20s and 30s, such as the title track written by Milton Ager or ‘Let It Rain’ recorded originally by Gene Austin.Krall’s band features Dennis Crouch on bass, Aram Bajakian on guitar, Stuart Duncan on guitar, Patrick Warren on keyboards and Jay Bellerose on drums. October 21, Philharmonie, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, www.philharmonie.lu

BOB GELDOF Since 1985 Bob Geldof has been better known as a campaigner and personal life than for his music. But he has released a new album, How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, which the BBC says sees Geldof chose “wisdom and reflection have finally overtaken venomous splurge as his choice of artistic cloak.” October 28, den Atelier, LuxembourgHollerich, www.atelier.lu

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:21


03.10.– 27.11.2012 03.10.–20.11.2010 www.luxembourgfestival.lu www.luxembourgfestival.lu Cie Frères Thabeten – SirTGV... John Eliot Gardiner – à«Rayahzone» 02:05 /de Paris

Hagen Quartett – Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg – London Symphony Orchestra – Valery Gergiev – Madredeus – Emmanuelle Béart Swan – NewLake» York Philharmonic – Alan Gilbert – Ballet Preljocaj & «Dada Masilo’s – Christianne Stotijn – Akademie Théâtre duMusik BolchoïBerlin – Paco de Lucía – Michael ClarkEuropéeens Company – London für Alte – Diana Krall – Solistes Luxem-Symph Orchestra – Sir ColinZehetmair Davis – «Les Justes»Chamber / Camus –Orchestra Pierre Boulez bourg – Thomas – Scottish – – Danie Kehlmann – Gewandhausorchester – Cecilia Bartoli – Françoise Berlang Maria João Pires – «The Rodin Leipzig Project» / Russell Maliphant Ian Bostridge– –Sonny AbbasRollins Kiarostami Sonny Rollins «Cosi fan tutte» / Mozart Company – Les– Musiciens du –Paradis – Bertrand Esperanza Spalding – Ballet BiarritzOrchestra – Thomas –Quasthoff Stanislas– Nordey Cuiller – Pittsburgh Symphony Manfred–Honeck Philippe Herreweghe Andreas Spering – Angelika – «Otello» Arcanto Quartett ––Red Baraat – «Desh (Solo)»Kirchschlager / Akram Khan Verdi – Ben Heppner … Company – NDR Bigband feat. Al Jarreau & Joe Sample – Nigel Kennedy – «Rosas – Early works 1982–1987: Fase» – Cecilia Bartoli – WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln – Jukka-Pekka Saraste – Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Sir Antonio Pappano – Martha Argerich – Grigory Sokolov


LIFESTYLE

HAPPY KIDS: THINGS TO DO ON HALLOWEEN

All Hallows Eve--or Samhain--is just around the corner, and if you think this old pagan tradition is non-existent in Luxembourg, you’re wrong! There are several places to go and have some spooky fun with the young ones. NC 01

Tourist Info Esch-sur-Sûre

TOTAL HALLOWEEN

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Natur musée

Musée Possen

Vianden Castle

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Natur musée

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The Geeschterowend (ghost evening) in Esch-sur-Sûre is one of the biggest family Halloween events in Luxembourg. The old town centre and medieval castle provide a perfect setting and is massively decorated with pumpkins, candles, spider webs, witches and all things related. There’s music, lots of food stalls and activities for the kids. There’s also a costume contest at 9 p.m. for both children and grown-ups. The bravest will venture to the castle where local ghost stories are read aloud while spirits roam the old cellars--or maybe take a walk through the “haunted death valley”. The evening starts at 5 p.m. and goes on till midnight (and often longer in the surrounding cafés and restaurants--who also offer special “ghost menus” that evening). Parking is free. Geeschterowend--La soirée des fantômes, October 20, 5 p.m. till midnight in Esch-sur-Sûre. www.eschsursure.lu

PUMPKIN PARTY

WITCHES AND GHOSTS

HAUNTED CASTLE

DRACULA & CO

The association Little Plus is hosting a big Halloween Party for the first time at the Le Royal Hotel, with workshops, games, magicians, make up, party bags, raffles for grown-ups and kids and much more. Plus a “parents space” with champagne bar! Entry fee: €30/person all inclusive (except champagne bar). “Little Citrouille”, October 14 at Le Royal, 2-6 p.m. www.littleplus.org

The “A Poosen” Toy museum organises Halloween the weekend of October 27-28 with workshops for children aged between 6 and 12. Saturday is all about spooky stories, witches, ghosts and monsters; Sunday about making your own pumpkin. Workshops from 2 to 5 p.m., fee is €15/day and reservations are required. Musée A Possen, 2 Keeseschgässel, Bech-Kleinmacher www.musee-possen.lu

Vianden Castle opens its cellars on October 28. From 4-9 p.m., children and their parents are invited to a cosy Halloween party, complete with pumpkin soup and other snacks, games, stories, music--and a wonderful visit through the haunted castle to meet Dr. Frankenstein and some of his creatures. Don’t forget to dress up! Entry: €3 (child) and €5 (adult). www.castle-vianden.lu

Via its Panda Club, the National Museum of Natural History organises many great activities for 6-8 year olds. An October favourite is the “Dracula & Co” workshops where the life of bats is explored. Due to popularity, four dates are available: October 16, 18, 23 and 25. Fee: €4 and sign-up is a must. (on www.pandaclub.lu) Natur musée, 25 rue Münster, Luxembourg www.mnhn.lu

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OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:24


9 NOVEMBER 2012 Atelier Concert

Madeleine Peyroux

Win rt ce c o nk e t s ! tic

Send an email mentioning “den Atelier/MADELEINE PEYROUX” to contest@delano.lu Deadline for entries is 30 OCTOBER 2012 Winners will be notified by email

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21/9/12 5:11 PM

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28.02.2012 11:42:47 Uhr

25/9/12 4:24 PM


LIFESTYLE

FIVE EXHIBITIONS WORTH SEEING The Bitter Years curated by the great Luxembourg-born photographer Edward Steichen now has a new permanent home in Dudelange. Also new this month: the annual night of the museums and Luxembourg artists at the Venice Biennale. 03

Christian Mosar

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Arthur Rothstein

Romain Girtgen

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A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

ANYONE FOR VENICE?

This year’s Nuit des Musées is focused on museum architecture. Special tours, workshops, entertainment and food and drink will be available at participating museums. Free shuttle buses operate, though anyone walking between the Casino Luxembourg and Villa Vauban is advised to pass through the Aldringen subterranean passage to see a special urban art project. October 13, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. www.nuit-des-musees.lu

The Grand-Duchy’s participation at the Venice Biennale reached a high point in 2003, when young artist Su-Mei Tse was awarded the Golden Lion--usually given in recognition of life-time achievement. Mudam is exhibiting original works by her and other Luxembourg painters, sculptors, video artists, who have been represented at the Biennale. October 13 to February 24, 2013, Mudam www.mudam.lu

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Photography

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MHVL

The Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA) has just opened a major new photography exhibition space in a former industrial water tower in Dudelange. The Waassertuerm and Pomhouse (former pumping station) are part of the CNA’s extension project. The water tower houses a stunning circular gallery that is now the permanent home of Edward Steichen’s exhibition The Bitter Years 1935-1941, which the Luxembourg-born photographer curated in 1962 for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. Photos such as the adjacent one by Arthur Rothstein--Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma, April 1936--offer a compelling view of rural America during the Great Depression. British contemporary artist Stephen Gill’s Coexist is the first in a series of temporary exhibitions planned for the adjacent pumphouse. Gill’s work is described as “a poetic reflection upon the changing region and city.” CNA Waassertuerm and Pomhouse, 1B rue de Centenaire, Dudelange, www.cna.lu

Javier Marin

STEICHEN & GILL OPEN NEW VENUE

KNOW YOUR ABC Getting to know the “real” Luxembourg is not easy, especially for non-Luxembourgers. So, the city history museum’s latest exhibition is a handy alphabetical guide to everything you want to know about Luxembourg but were afraid to ask--from aanescht (different) to zefridden (satisfied) via Kachkéis (melted cheese spread) and Heckefransous (a French frontalier). Until March 31, 2013, Musée d’Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg www.mhvl.lu

JAVIER MARÍN’S HUMANITY Anyone wandering through the city since the end of September cannot have failed to notice the impressive sculptures dotted around the city. The equestrian beasts and exhausted warriors are the work of renowned artist Javier Marín, whose very human sculptures reflect the finest Renaissance tradition and the history of his native Mexico. Until November 20, Luxembourg City www.vdl.lu

OCTOBER 2012

26/09/12 19:23


LES THÉÂTRES DE LA VILLE DE LUXEMBOURG

‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE BY JOHN FORD IN ENGLISH, WITH FRENCH SURTITLES

15, 16 & 17 NOVEMBER 2012 AT 8PM AT THE GRAND THÉÂTRE © MANUEL HARLAN

» … darkly funny, superbly visceral and poignant... electrifying. Independent on Sunday

» Donnellan and Ormerod’s sexy and unnerving new production is gruesomely, wildly alive. Time Out

ADULTS 20 € / STUDENTS 8 € INFORMATION WWW.THEATRES.LU BOOKING WWW.LUXEMBOURGTICKET.LU T. +352/47 08 95-1 GRAND THÉÂTRE 1, ROND- POINT SCHUMAN L-2525 LUXEMBOURG

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9/13/12 11:45 AM


MY OTHER LIFE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLOWNING

Lucien Elsen

SEND IN THE CLOWN A chef finds inspiration in the most unlikely place. Text by Tonya Stoneman Photography by Olivier Minaire

J

ohn W. Pain, a clown with a large red nose, wants to free the world from evil. A goddess called The Mermaid tries to show him the door to love and a higher life, but John will have none of it. He’s too preoccupied to take her seriously. Thus, he finds himself meandering through an endless desert in search of the last fertile woman on earth. If this storyline sounds a bit “off the wall,” that’s okay. Pain’s creator, Lucien Elsen, doesn’t strive to make sense in the concrete world. It’s your heart he’s after. “We think too much and feel too little,” he says. Elsen wasn’t always a clown--this is just his latest stop on a meandering creative journey. When his diploma as an electrician failed to inspire, he pursued the culinary arts. He got his start as a street vendor in Luxembourg selling organic whole-wheat pastry. After mastering that craft, he spent four years pursuing his passion in specialty restaurants where he did everything from prep-cooking to dishwashing. Finally, at 24 years of age, Elsen discovered the food he was meant to create: macro-biotic vegetarian Japanese cuisine. He opened a restaurant in Brussels and called it Shanti. He bought the place for €3,000, furnished it with chairs off the street, and filled the pantry with food from local markets. Thirty-five years later, the restaurant is still thriving. After Shanti took off, Elsen headed to San Francisco to study food design and stayed there for two years before returning to Luxembourg to open Mesa Verde. But 17 years into his dream job, something unexpected happened. “I stopped cooking,” he says. “It was an honest decision. I couldn’t take the stress.” No longer able to pour his heart and soul into his work, he felt he was lying to his customers. He had no choice but to stop, yet he was lost without cooking. At this critical

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juncture, Elsen found ultimate truth in the most unlikely place--the heart of a clown. For his 50th birthday, he enrolled in a course called “Discover your clown and set him free.” He rediscovered the same energy and innocence he’d found 35 years earlier through cooking. “I felt a new passion immediately,” he says. “It closed the circle.” For him, these two pursuits are closely linked. “My authentic existence was expressed in the food,” he says, “and now in the clown. Cooking is emotion, love, honesty and connecting with people. Clowning forces you to access the energy system inside of you. The closer you get to your clown, the more able you are to dig out emotions you want to show and share. The first bechamel sauce I made, I threw away the pan. But once I knew how to make it, I had the basis for 30 sauces. Once I got the clown, I had 30 emotions to share and touch people.” Elsen and his partner, Vanessa Buffone, premiered their show John W. Pain and The Mermaid at the Theatre of the International Clown School. The performance was surreal for both actors and spectators--a perfect outcome according to Elsen. Both the restaurant and the clown are doing very well. But the most important thing is that he’s found a new friend inside of himself. “The clown makes you refocus your mind,” he says. “You look in the mirror and smile and say, ‘I won’t get eaten up today by unnecessary stress.’ I remain one thing, and one thing only. And that is a clown.”

Some of the earliest clowns were court jesters, according to The Art of Clowning. During the Middle Ages they performed for royalty, making the king and courtiers laugh. The 16th century Italian theater brought the Harlequin Clown, known for its diamond patterned clothes, ruffled collars, and black half-masks. Then came the Pierrot Clowns, outfitted in loose-fitting clothes with huge buttons. The modern circus features the August Clown, an intelligent, but zany comic with big shoes and a red nose.

LUCIEN ELSEN “The clown makes you refocus your mind”

OCTOBER 2012

26/9/12 2:51 PM


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Delano October 2012  

Delano Magazine October 2012

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