SGI-Germany's Villa Sachsen Celebrates Heritage Day
On September 9, 2006, SGI-Germany's Villa Sachsen Grand Culture Center (Villa Sachsen) opened its doors to the public in celebration of Heritage Day (Sept. 14). SGI-Germany's Green Hill Orchestra serenaded the 2,000 local residents attending with well-loved classics. The audience was also treated to a guitar solo by a renowned guitarist, as well as a collaborative lecture on "Humanity and the Cosmos," by Yoshiharu Matsuno, an SGI-Germany leader, and Hanns Ruder, professor of the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Tübingen. Meanwhile, children enjoyed an informal play, a hands-on origami-folding and clay molding class, as well as face painting. Visitors remarked they were delighted that a cultural heritage had been revived to play an active part in contemporary society, and that the center brimmed with hope and inspiration for the future. Irmgard von Lehsten, member of the German Committee for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), commended the SGI-Germany youth who are harnessing the power of hope to restore society.
[Located along the Rhine River in Bingen City, Villa Sachsen was designated an important historic and cultural monument of the city. Originally built in 1843 as a mountain villa by a European aristocrat, Villa Sachsen changed ownership several times over the course of its 150-year history. During World War II, it served as a field hospital. In 1997, SGI-Germany reopened the renovated villa and country garden as the SGI-Germany Villa Sachsen Grand Culture Center. Since then, it has served as a venue for art and cultural events in the local community, including "Goethe Week" in 1999 and the "Victor Hugo and the 21st Century" exhibition in 2001. Villa Sachsen regularly opens its doors to the public to celebrate Heritage Day on September 14, an initiative of the Council of Europe, supported by the European Union.].