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The light shines out in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is preparing to celebrate one of its major cultural events, the 'Festival of Light', which, from 15th to 22nd of June, will illuminate the ancient streets of the Old City with the work of leading international artists whose creative material is light itself.

15 June 2011
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This year sees the third celebration of the festival, held in Jerusalem's Old City in mid-June, and the event is already establishing itself as one of the city's major summer attractions. Throughout the week, between 8 pm and midnight, ancient stones and monuments of the historic district will be illuminated and juxtaposed with some of the most avant-garde creations and installations of light sculpture and other artwork by leading international artists.

Traditionally light has been used in the display of works of art, but in recent years artists have started to view it as a creative raw material in its own right; the development of new technology has led to great innovation and given rise to events such as Jerusalem's Festival of Light that take a new look at decorative lighting and the role of light in the urban landscape.

The event will also include theatrical performances, concerts, fireworks and themed tours of the Old City, where light and sound will transform its appearance and offer a new perspective on the ancient Holy City as neighbourhoods and monuments take on a magical aura. 

At the Jaffa Gate, the French group TILT are creating a garden of light where visitors will step into a magical futuristic world, while, to the east of the Damascus Gate, the Italian artist Richi Ferrero will decorate Zedekiah's Cave with African masks; using the special effects of lighting, the masks will be brought to life accompanied by the guttural sounds of Mongolian music combined with lyrics of Bulgarian folksong in a truly international creation.

Except for the Butterfly Effect, an extraordinary combination of acrobatic art and video installation which will take place in the Habonim Gardens, the festival is free. Aimed at a wide audience, in previous years it has attracted a quarter of a million visitors over the course of the week and offers visitors a marvellous opportunity for a new perspective on this ancient city.

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