The ARCADIA project, running from August 2006 to July 2007, was part-financed by the EU program CULTURE 2000. It focuses on the mediation and new interpretation of the Arcadian myth as common European cultural heritage by artistic and cultural activities. In each country cultural projects dealing with the Arcadian subject, with a special focus on a European-wide exchange, will be implemented. The main aim is to stimulate the European Idea by artist re-formulation of this common European heritage and to fill the myth of “Arcadia” with current topics. Furthermore, the project wants to trace the artistic specificity on the Arcadian topic in different European countries, show similarities and national particularities as well as asking for the current meaning of Europe’s further development. Also the project wants to highlight the Arcadian myth, as a common European Cultural Heritage and improve the knowledge about it by enabling an easy access for as many people as possible to the topic.
Since the Ancient World artists and philosophers have been dealing with the subject of “Arcadia”. The dream of people living peacefully together and of an intense harmony between humans and nature was attractive in changing social contexts. Diverse results in the fields of literature, fine arts, architecture and garden design are in many European countries evidence of a productive discussion about the Arcadian myth. It seems almost logical in a time of international disconcertion by war, terrorism and force, facing particularly the necessary debates about Europe’s future that the topic “Arcadia”, this utopia, again becomes attractive.
The participating countries (FR/GR/DE) symbolize three stages in the development of the Arcadian myth in the European history of ideas and humanism from the Ancient World till the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment:
• The Greek Arcadia (Tegea) is the geographic and ancient origin of the myth
• The Forez (France), is the place described as “Arcadian” by Honoré d´Urfé (1567-1625) in “L’Astrée” (1607-1627)
• Weimar (Germany) reflects in its parks the Arcadian utopia developed by Wieland, Goethe and Schiller at the end of the 18th century
The Arcadia CULTURE 2000 project initiated a lot of activities, events and contacts, several new partners became involved. Thus, the Arcadia network will sustain and grow also after the end of the EU funded project. New partners are always welcome, please contact us!