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CERN seeks cultural renaissance

By James Dacey

When I visited CERN earlier this year, it was clear that in addition to all of the research there is also a strong focus on the arts. Strolling around the facilities, I stumbled across many works of art, including several pieces by the British sculptor Anthony Gormley. And various researchers told me that they love working at the lab because of all the opportunities to get involved with extracurricular activities, where they mix with people from all over the world.

Today, CERN has reaffirmed its commitment to the arts with the launch of a cultural policy for engaging with the arts, called “Great Arts for Great Science”. The policy outlines a selection process, which the lab will follow when deciding which arts programmes to approve. CERN is also seeking to form partnerships with leading international arts organizations.

I first heard about the policy while at CERN in April when I caught up with the lab’s cultural specialist, Arianne Koek. She told me that her vision was to cast science and art on an equal platform by encouraging more internationally renowned artists to collaborate with the lab.

“If you look at the whole history of the Renaissance, arts and science were absolutely on an equal level. And I think it’s absolutely time now to have a contemporary renaissance,” she said. You can see our full interview in the video below.

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