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The trip to Tunisia that changed modern art

It’s 100 years since the three artists and friends Paul Klee, August Macke and Louis Moilliet made their legendary journey to Tunisia. To celebrate this significant moment in modern art, the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern is bringing together more than 140 works of art and putting on a rich and varied programme of activities.

For the first time in almost 30 years these works, created during or inspired by the two-week trip, have been reunited in the Swiss capital. Some of them come from the Zentrum Paul Klee itself, others from private collections or other Swiss museums.

The theme of the exhibition, which runs until June 22 and is organised together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, is “more than a journey”. A series of events highlight “the cultural exchanges between Switzerland and Tunisia”. The Hammamet International Cultural Centre together with the Mediterranean House for Culture and Art are organising a series of events in the coastal town of Hammamet entitled “Springtime with Paul Klee at Hammamet, 100 years on”.

The charm and delight of the trip was brilliantly described by Klee himself in his diary from the gates of Kairouan: “The colour possesses me. There is no need to try to grasp it. It possesses me. Here is the meaning of this happy moment: the colour and I are one. I am a painter.”

(Images: Zentrum Paul Klee; text: Abdelhafidh Abdeleli,

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR