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Fri, Nov 27, 2020
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Did you know...
Did you know...

Painting of Giotto's mosaic

... that a rare painted copy of a destroyed Giotto mosaic was recently found in a ruined medieval church in Kiszsolna, six kilometers from Beszterce in Transylvania?  Created for the church of St. Peter in Rome, between 1305 and 1313, the mosaic was destroyed when that church was torn down in the 17th century to make way for the basilica of St. Peter’s.  Entitled the ”Navicella”, it depicts Peter stepping out of the boat. Only three other paintings depicting the mosaic are known: one in Florence, another in Pistoia and the third in Strasbourg. The one in Florence is the one that most accurately copied even the details of the mosaic, and the one in Kiszsolna bears the closest resemblance to that.

... that as part of the Széchenyi Memorial Year, a pre-qualifying round for the Olympics in the field of boxing will be held at the Gerevich Aladár Nemzeti Sportcsarnok (Sport Arena) in Budapest on March 4th and 5th?

It will highlight the fact that it had been Count Széchenyi István who, on his return from a trip to England, had introduced boxing to Hungary.

... that the first lotto in Hungary was played in March 26, 1763? The lottery was introduced in the Austrian empire by Maria Theresa’s imperial patent in 1751, and was rented out to Count Octavio Cataldi.  In 1763, the Count received a concession for Hungary as well, and Buda and Pozsony were the first localities to have it.

For one reason or another, the lottery was interrupted a few times. The current lotto started in March 7, 1957, and is very popular to this day. The player has to get 5 numbers out of 90. Good luck!

... that a promenade (sétány) in Budapest has been named for the late Hungarian-born US Rep. Tom Lantos?  It is located on the Pest side, near the school Lantos had attended and connects Viza and Révész streets. The ceremony took place on February 1st, what would have been his 88th birthday.

Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to have been a member of the US Congress. In 1944, when he was 16, he had been sent to a forced labor camp, but escaped to a safe house set up by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who saved thousands of Jews by issuing Swedish passports. He then joined Wallenberg’s efforts by delivering supplies to other safe houses.  He emigrated to the US and earned a degree in Economics from U.C. Berkeley in 1953. In 1980, representing parts of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties,  he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1980, and was reelected 13 more times. He died in 2008.

... that the contemporary storyteller Csukás István who, in Hungary and abroad, has published close to a hundred children’s novels and fairytales in prose and poetry,  will celebrate his 80th birthday this year? His creations include SüSü, the dragon, Mirr-Murr the cat, and many others that have become children’s favorites.

Son of a blacksmith, he started out studying music, specifically the violin, but soon gave that up and turned to poetry.  A friend submitted several of his poems to a contest in which Csukás won first prize. Thus encouraged, he continued to write, and with several friends founded a  young artists’ club in 1960.

Later on, he met a writer who worked in the children’s section of Hungarian TV, and began working with him.  Csukás took it as an omen that he was born on  April 2nd, as was the great writer of fairytales Hans Christian Andersen.

In 1975, at Hollywood’s 10th TV film festival, Csukás’ TV series for young people, Keménykalap és krumpliorr (Derby and Potato Nose) took the grand prize and was named the year’s best children’s film. The main character is based on a real person, an ice cream vendor in Kisújszállás, whose bronze statue was unveiled in 2013.

Although Csukás’ fame rests primarily on his fairytales and youth novels, he has also published a number of volumes of poetry. He is the recipient of many  prizes, including the Kossuth Prize in 1999, the Prima Primissima Prize in 2011 and the Szép ErnÅ‘ Special prize in 2015.  He has just been named to join 214 other contenders for this year’s Astrid Lundgren Memorial Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

...that the Hungarian Film "Son of Saul" won the Oscar on February 28th for Best Foreign Film of the Year?


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