August 12-16, 2008

A visit to France and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with 10 students


Manuscript study at the「Bibliotheque Nationale de France」in Paris
Welcome tea at the Residence of the Ambassador of Japan, Luxembourg City
Ceremony at the City Hall of Echternach for Mrs. F. Niida and the students of MG School
Visit to the House of Nicolas Flamel and the Cluny Museum in Paris

Wednesday, August 13th
Manuscript study at the National Library of France
7 students of advanced level were admitted to the Reading Room for Occidental Manuscripts

Open window of the
first floor Reading Room
"Salle de Lecture"

Security check at entrance

Each reader was a issued
her personal ID card
with photograph and number

A special session of 2 hours
was arranged to view the Echternach
Gospels and other great treasures
with Madame Lafitte, Director
of the Manuscript Department

In front of the Reading Room
for Occidental Manuscripts

Photograph by Wikipedia

of the Reading Room

Everyone had the privilege to study from
a precious manuscript during a whole day

The Echternach Gospels were brought
by St. Wilibrord to Echternach in 690.
Miss Yayoi Nishimura & Ms. Asako Satoh
each reproduced 1 page in their work
exhibited for 2 years at the Museum
Abbey of Echternach.

Epistolae of St. Gregory, 12th c.
Students were shown the beautiful initials
that they had already learned in the class
of the Romanesque Hand


Time flies, and after the six o'clock bell,
everyone gathered once again under
the windows of the Salle de Lecture,
still dazed by a marvellous day

Thursday 14th
Early morning departure for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

6 o'clock at the Gare de l'Est

Ready to board the TGV

On a happy journey

Two hours later we were in
the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg !

Morning tea at the Residence of the
Ambassador of Japan to welcome the
best artist-calligraphers of the MG School

From left: Mr. J.P. Petesch and Mr. A. Langini
of the Abbey Museum, M. Gaggini,
The Honorable T. Thiry, Mayor of Echternach,
H.E. K. Tatebe, Ambassador of Japan
and Prof. P. Kauthen of the Abbey Museum 

On the terrace of the Residence with Mr. Kato,
Counsellor and Mr. Fujita of the Cultural Section
of the Embassy of Japan in Luxembourg

Mrs. F. Hoshino and Miss A. Satoh
brought their original works of
calligraphy and illumination

The on-lookers showed great interest and
asked many questions regarding the styles
of writing, decorative letters and
illumination techniques.

After travelling one hour by minibus,
visit of the ruins of the Roman Villa,
one of the largest villas unearthed
North of the Alps.

(by kind invitation of the City
of Echternach).

Inside the Roman Museum,
several rooms of the villa can be admired:
above, part of the Tablinum - study
room with writing instruments.

Finally, we arrived in Echternach

Museum of the Abbey of Echternach

Since May 2007 the best students of MG School
have exhibited their artwork, especially made in
the writing styles practiced at the scriptorium
of Echternach from the 7th to the 12th centuries.
15,000 visitors have passed through.


Our group was greeted at the entrance
by the Director of the Museum Mr. Langini,
the Ambassador of Japan and Mrs. Tatebe.

Booklets and heraldic work produced
by the students are displayed in glass boxes.

Calligraphy and illumination work
displayed on panels.

Miniatures of Echternach by
the students of MG School

Explanations were provided by Mr. Alex Langini
concerning the facsimile pages
of the scriptorium of Echternach
in the exhibit hall of the Abbey Museum

Facsimile page from the Codex Aureus
The Golden Gospel Book of
Emperor Henry III, completed in 1046

Mr. Langini gave an exciting talk
about the life in the Abbey,
the work in the scriptorium and
the history of the Golden Gospel.

Mrs. Tatebe apposing her signature
in the Golden Book of the Museum.

We also visited the Basilica crypt
where the tomb of St Willibrord is displayed.


Finally we arrived in front of the
City Hall of Echternach!


Mrs. Fumiko Niida donated her framed
work of the Coat of Arms of Echternach
to the city Mayor, the Honorable
Marc Diederich, Burgmeister

Calligraphy and heraldic work by
Mrs. Fumiko Niida


Mrs. Niida explaining her work to
Mrs. Tatebe, wife of the Ambassador
of Japan and to Mr. Fujita, Cultural Section

Greeting by the Burgmeister of
Echternach, The Hon. Marc Diederich

In his address H.E. Kazuhiko Tatebe
commended the works of the Japanese
artists and their contribution
in strenghthening the cultural ties
between Luxembourg and Japan.

 Exchange of gifts

Mr. Alex Langini, Director of
the Abbey Museum receiving
a token of friendship from Japan

Tasting the delicious wine of Moselle

His Excellency Kazuhiko Tatebe
and Prof. Pierre Kauthen surrounded
by a happy group

It was a beautiful exchange of culture,
learning from each other and sharing friendship!


Friday 15th - Paris

Visit to the House of Nicolas Flamel, editor, librarian and famous calligrapher of the 14th-15th centuries
At MG SCHOOL, students who enroll in the course of French Gothic Bastarda,
study examples of Flamel's elegant and powerful calligraphy

The oldest house in Paris:
Nicolas Flamel had this house built in 1407
where he and his wife Pernelle provided food
and shelter to the indigent and the sick.


Front entrance with Gothic inscription


Lombardic initials N and F carved on the front
pillars. The house bears many symbols of alchemy.

People who enter this house seeking comfort, care and shelter, are required to say in return
an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" for the souls of the dead to reach Paradise.


From Nicolas Flamel's house
we walked to
the Cluny Museum:
Musee National du Moyen Age

Exploring the rich culture
of the Middle Ages;
even manuscript pages are on display!

The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestry
wool and silk (XVth c.)

Our last dinner at Parc Monsouris:
good food, good wine and good company!

Restaurant Pavillon Monsouris

... and nice memories