|Goethe Institut stamp_Rizal Statue in Wilhelmsfeld, Germany|
Vim Nadera: Goethe Institut helped in restoring the 1960 film version ofNoli Me Tangere which was given by the German government to then President Corazon C. Aquino as the first Philippine president to visit Germany. Now her son is our incumbent president, do you have the same token of gift for Pres. Benigno Aquino III?
Richard Künzel: Yes: the restored original manuscripts of both Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo resting at the National Library will in June be given hopefully to the President. Restoration and training of Filipino restorers was carried out by the German Embassy and Goethe-Institut Philippinen.
VN: What are your priorities during the last four years in the Philippines?
RK: The consolidation of the quality and visibility of the Goethe-Institut in the country and though media.
VN: How did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Goethe Institut Philippinen?
RK: The anniversary celebration took place in our institute in 7th of April. Including an Art Talk on the question “What’s next?” Jag Garcia (CSB), Teddy Ko, Myra Beltran, Jay Cruz, Robert Hayden, Mr. Tagaturi (Japan Foundation), José Fons (Instituto Cervantes) gave controversial advice and flash backs how to organize cultural work in future. Let us never stop asking questions and talk openly to each other. On short notice, we’ll prepare ourselves for the printing of a commemorative stamp combining Dr. José Rizal`s statue (as seen today in Heidelberg) with the anniversary logo of Goethe-Institut Philippines. We are sure we’ll find buyers… not only among philatelists. Ater, in June, will be the screening of the film “Noli me tangere” (1961, Gerardo de Leon – restored 1996 in the Federal Film Archive in Coblenz / Germany) hopefully in Calamba. Apropos film: As UST celebrates its 400th anniversary this year, we are going to join hands and screen the UNESCO protected masterpiece of Fritz Lang, METROPOLIS in November, accompanied life by the Symphony Orchestra of UST.
VN: What are your future plans?
RK: The future will teach me how to live without Goethe-Institute. Our children love to see us back in Germany. Most probably we shall put our tents up near Frankfurt Airport, our son’s Lufthansa base – to make sure that the great lovely world will stay in reach.
VN: How would you like to be remembered as its Director?
RK: As a director, who - like in Kazakhstan - was carried on his team members’ shoulders through the hall, accompanied by music and vodka. No, yes, may be yes: a director who changed things to the good in his institute and his host country. And as a friend who will smile when he hears news from the Philippines in 10 years from now.