• The Government Art Collection in Vienna

    The Government Art Collection in Vienna0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    Part of UK in Austria
    31st October 2019 Vienna, Austria
    The Government Art Collection in Vienna The Duke of Wellington stares across the room towards a distant Queen Victoria, while Emperor Franz Josef – sash, ‘tache and all – observes impassively. Not the plot of a historical novel, but the paintings in the dining room at the ambassador’s residence in Vienna.

    Works from the Government Art Collection (GAC) are displayed in UK Government buildings in nearly every capital city, making it the most dispersed collection of British art in the world.
    The Collection promotes British art and plays a key role in British cultural diplomacy, delivering an expression of Britain’s culture and its values. Nowhere is this more relevant than in Vienna, a city where appreciation of art and culture flows through everyday life; and where our continuing ..

  • Mostar deserves better

    Mostar deserves better0

    Skip to content Matt Field
    British Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
    31st October 2019 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Mostar deserves better The British Embassy recently moved its whole operation down to Mostar for a day. In addition to many other activities across the city, we set up a ‘pop-up’ reception in front of the Mepas Mall. This gave the chance for different teams to explain our work – defence cooperation, education, projects, scholarships, consular support, political work, and commercial – to people as they stopped by.

    Just as importantly, it gave us the chance to ask the citizens of Mostar about their priorities for themselves and the city, the kinds of things that they would like to see change. This is a question we as an Embassy have been asking ourselves and others since I arrived, to try to make sure that our priorities and assistance programmes properly match with the change people in this country want to see. The citizens of BiH are the best judges of how to imp..



    Skip to content Paul Brummell
    Head of Soft Power and External Affairs Department, Communication Directorate
    30th October 2019 London,UK
    MIND YOUR LANGUAGE The Indigenous Peoples’ Memorial is one of the many striking buildings in the Brazilian capital designed by the prolific modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer. Built in a spiral-shaped design around a central courtyard it was apparently inspired by a Yanomami house. In truth, the building is looking a little the worse for wear. The permanent collection was closed when I visited while on holiday in August, but it was still a worthwhile visit, thanks to a display in that central courtyard, installed to commemorate the UN designation of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
    Entitled “the Forest of Indigenous Languages”, from the sand-covered courtyard sprouted many wooden poles, each representing a different indigenous language. The poles were of varying heights, since to a standard-height base had been added an addition..

  • White trees, blue skies and a green plan

    White trees, blue skies and a green plan0

    Skip to content Leigh Turner
    Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna
    Part of UK in Austria
    25th October 2019 Vienna, Austria
    White trees, blue skies and a green plan Have you ever wondered why the trees are painted white in Vienna? To stop cars running into them, protect them from dogs? The special paint protects new bark from the summer sun! Woodland trees don’t require sun cream but the intense environments of our cities means it’s not only humans who need protection from harmful rays.
    I recently had a wonderful opportunity to meet Austria-based British Tree Surgeon Martin Speariett, whilst he was dangling precariously from a Robinia tree he had been pruning in the Embassy’s garden. He said that increasing the amount of ‘green coverage’ in cities helped regulate temperature and reduce air pollution. More trees meant cleaner air but, in man-made environments, we were responsible for keeping the trees ..

  • Food and Power

    Food and Power0

    The Oxford Food Symposium has not always held an obvious link to foreign policy, but diplomacy was there at its conception. It was co-founded by a diplomat named Alan Davidson, whose Foreign Office career ended as Ambassador to Laos in the early 1970s. It was while on a posting to Tunisia that Davidson, frustrated at the lack of a decent book on the local seafood, embarked on a parallel career as a food writer, with Seafish of Tunisia and the Central Mediterranean. Food guru Elizabeth David took the book under her wing, or perhaps fin, and it reappeared in expanded form as a Penguin publication with the snappier title Mediterranean Seafood.
    Following his retirement from the Foreign Office, Davidson spent an academic year at St Anthony’s Oxford in the late 1970s, conducting research on science in the kitchen from an historical perspective..

  • First Impressions

    First Impressions0

    This is the first chance that I have had to sit and reflect upon my first month in a new home, a new city, and a new role as UK Ambassador to Serbia.

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