Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

European Exhibition Features Parthenon Replica Built From Banned Books

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Kassel, Germany is now home to a Greek temple-inspired artwork that pays homage to free speech instead of the gods: As The Local Germany reports, the installation by conceptual artist Marta Minujín is built from 100,000 banned books, and is intended to challenge censorship both past and present.

Every five years, the city of Kassel, Germany becomes an art world hotspot when documenta—the international arts exhibition created by German artist and professor Arnold Bode in 1955—comes to town. Originally, documenta featured artworks banned by the Nazis, but over the years, it’s evolved into one of the world’s most important exhibitions for modern and contemporary art.

Now, in its 14th iteration, documenta is back and open until Sunday, September 17. As we previously reported, the two-part show kicked off in Athens on April 8 to mark this year’s theme, “Learning from Athens,” and premiered in Kassel on June 10. One of its most visible—and political—artworks is Minujín’s “Parthenon of Books,” which stands in the public square where Nazis once burned thousands of “un-German” books during the Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist (Campaign against the Un-German Spirit).

Built in the exact same dimensions as the real-life Parthenon, the structure's metal grill columns contains hundreds of titles, including the Bible, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1988), and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), each one wrapped in plastic to protect their pages from the elements. Lodged into place by volunteers on cranes, the works will be distributed to visitors once the artwork is dismantled.

Check out some pictures of Minujín’s Parthenon of Books below.

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" on display in Kassel, Germany
Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

[h/t The Local Germany]

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The Best (and Worst) States for Summer Road Trips
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As we shared recently, the great American road trip is making a comeback, but some parts of the country are more suitable for hitting the open road than others. If you're interested in taking a road trip this summer but are stuck on figuring out the destination, WalletHub has got you covered: The financial advisory website analyzed factors like road conditions, gas prices, and concentration of activities to give you this map of the best states to explore by car.

Wyoming—home to the iconic road trip destination Yellowstone National Park—ranked No. 1 overall with a total score of 58.75 out of 100. It's followed by North Carolina in the No. 2 slot, Minnesota at No. 3, and Texas at No. 4. Coming in the last four slots are the three smallest states in America—Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut—and Hawaii, a state that's obviously difficult to reach by car.

But you shouldn't only look at the overall score if you're planning a road trip route: Some states that did poorly in one category excelled in others. California for example, came in 12th place overall, and ranked first when it came to activities and 41st in cost. So if you have an unlimited budget and want to fit as many fun stops into your vacation as possible, taking a trip up the West Coast may be the way to go. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi is a good place to travel if you're conscious of spending, ranking second in costs, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the quality of your trip, coming in 38th place for safety and 44th for activities.

Choosing the stops for your summer road trip is just the first step of the planning process. Once you have that covered, don't forget to pack these essentials.

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Netherlands Officials Want to Pay Residents to Bike to Work
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iStock

Thinking about relocating to the Netherlands? You might also want to bring a bike. Government officials are looking to compensate residents for helping solve their traffic congestion problem and they want businesses to pay residents to bike to work, as The Independent reports.

Owing to automobile logjams on roadways that keep drivers stuck in their cars and cost the economy billions of euros annually, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven recently told media that she's endorsing a program that would pay employees 19 cents for every kilometer (0.6 miles) they bike to work.

That doesn't sound like very much, but perhaps citizens who need to trek several miles each way would appreciate the cumulative boost in their weekly paychecks. For employers, the benefit would be a healthier workforce that might take fewer sick days and reduce parking needs.

Veldhoven says she also plans on designing a program that would assist employers in supplying workers with bicycles. The goal is to have 200,000 people opting for manual transportation over cars. If the program proceeds, it might find a receptive population. The Netherlands is already home to 22.5 million bikes, more than the 17.1 million people living there. In Amsterdam, a quarter of residents bike to work.

There's no timeline for implementing the pay-to-bike plan, but early trial studies indicate that the expense might not have to be a long-term prospect. Study subjects continued to bike to work even after the financial rewards stopped.

[h/t The Independent]

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