Res Artis: The Very Beginning

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By Michael Haerdter
 
The real birthplace of our network is in Greece. I was invited to an EU-conference of European Cultural Networks organized in 1992 by the Greek government in Delphi, one of the famous cradles of ancient Greek culture, on the Peloponnisos.
 
Here I met several colleagues, founders and directors of artist-in-residence-centres from Western and Eastern Europe. One afternoon, we were sitting together on the sunny terrace of this governmental Cultural Center, location of our conference, enjoying cooled wine, tasty pistachios and the wonderful sight, finally wondering why we hadn't thought yet of forming our own cultural network of residential arts centres.
 
All of a sudden the entire round of about eight men and women turned toward me, pointing at me, nearly shouting in one irrefutable voice: And you are going to invite us to your Künstlerhaus in Berlin! That's how it really began.
 
Early in 1993, all of them and many more gathered in Bethanien in order to officially found what a couple of years later was named Res Artis.