In September 2011, Michael Rogatchi and The Rogatchi Foundation took part in the special art event, Symbolism in the Jewish Art of Turku. The Event has been organised by the Jewish Community of Turku, and according to the community’s chairman Tomer Huhtamäki, this special art event “has become the community’s contribution to the programme of celebrating Turku as the culture capital of Turku in 2011”.

The event organised on September 25th, 2011 in the 100-year-old Turku Synagogue comprised an exhibition of art works of Michael Rogatchi, and two more members of the Jewish community of Turku, Gila Seera and Tomer Huhtamäki.

Michael Rogatchi ©. Miriam. Oil on canvas. 120 x 100 cm. 2010. © The Rogatchi Foundation

The defence minister of Finland Mr Stefan Wallin has become the patron of the event. He said in his address: “The Special Art Event Symbolism in the Jewish Art of Turku is one of the pearls in this year’s programme of the culture capital of Europe. The extraordinary talent of the exhibiting artists happily coincides here with rare historic features of this building. The beautiful Synagogue of Turku provides a perfect opportunity for the art lovers to get some glimpses into the Jewish symbolism through its art. I feel very proud to be the official patron of this exhibition, in particular”.

The European Union greetings on behalf of its culture, media and education committee were conveyed to the public by the commission’s senior member, MEP Hannu Takkula. In his address, he emphasised: “This is a highly important event providing the possibility for the wider public to get to know and to understand the Jewish world, its culture and meaning, and to see it all first-hand. This is the very meaning of the idea of making particular European cities the culture capitals of Europe. We can see today as these efforts are bringing the immediate but also long-standing results”.

MEP Hannu Takkula at the Michael Rogatchi’s exhibition opening. Photo: Inna Rogatchi. Courtesy © The Rogatchi Foundation

The event has been extremely well, including former governor of Southern-Western Finland Pirkko Työläjärvi, many top scientists, and representatives of the culture and media world. The Special Art Event has also prompted several further cultural ideas, including more art exhibitions, seminars and panels, in a series of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Turku Synagogue to be celebrated in May 2012.