The European Green Belt: Borders. Wilderness. Future

20 July 2009 | News story

‘The European Green Belt: Borders. Wilderness. Future’ exhibition opened at the Linz Schlossmuseum on the 4th July 2009 as part of Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture. The exhibition was opened by the Landeshauptmann (Head of the Government) of Upper Austria, Mr. Pühringer. Over 400 guests attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition, which will run until the 10th January 2010. The space for the Green Belt exhibition is approximately 1,000 square meters.

The exhibition explores the relationship between nature and mankind along the former Iron Curtain stretching across Europe from sub-artic Lapland via the Baltic coast, the Central European uplands and flood plains to the Black Sea coast on the border between Bulgaria and Turkey. Thanks to decades of border security, often accompanied by enforced depopulation, areas of wilderness were preserved or in some cases created on a strip more than 8500 kilometres in length.

The stories covered by the exhibition range from the delicacies of the Far North such as reindeer meat and cloudberries, via the amber of the Baltic Sea coast to the floral treasures of the Balkan Mountains, and are illustrated by a wide variety of exhibits. This main narrative telling of Europe’s diversity is supplemented by secondary narratives giving insight into important topics such as human players and the return of wild animals.

Talking about Europe is one of the most vital functions of the Capital of Culture says Director Martin Heller. The exhibition “The Green Belt offers ideal opportunities for this. Here, nature and culture cannot be separated; the story book tells of both in grandiose manner.”

The European Green Belt initiative has the vision to create the backbone of an ecological network spanning some of the most important habitats for biodiversity and almost all distinct biogeographical regions in Europe. To read more about the European Green Belt project visit the website www.europeangreenbelt.org.