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Brittany plans summer art and ship fests

Published on 08/01/2004


PARIS, Jan 7 (AFP) – France’s western Brittany, which saw a spectacular rise in foreign tourists last year, hopes to draw yet more visitors in 2004 with two traditional tall ship parades and a more adventurous foray into contemporary arts.

The windy western seaside region saw a big increase in foreign and French visitors in the summer of 2003, with notably a 7.4 percent swell in foreign hotel bookings, the most important seasonal hike in France.

“We believe 2004 too will be a good year,” Francois Vertadier, who heads the Regional Tourism Committee, told a news conference. “We aim to continue to actively bolster our cultural heritage.”

On the sea and sports front, he said, the towns of Brest and Douarnenez would host their traditional big four-yearly maritime festivals – 2,000 tall ships and historical replicas including the “Bounty” in Brest, and 1,000 tall ships, featuring Russian vessels on centre stage, in Douarnenez.

Artists both from Celtic Brittany and elsewhere feature on a cultural agenda spanning the entire year in a region that notably played host in the late 19th century to a large group of then revolutionary artists including Paul Gauguin, who died in 1903.

A century after his death, it was only right that Brittany continue to promote contemporary art, from painting to sculpture to ceramics, Vertadier said.


                                Subject: France news