Belgium's war and peace

BELGIUM will erupt in a co- ordinated celebration of '50 years of peace' this weekend as lesser British royals, veterans and the Belgians themselves re-live the arrival of Allied troops in 1944.

Obituary: Dennis Flanders

Dennis Flanders, artist: born London 2 July 1915; ARWS 1970, RWS 1976; RBA 1970; married 1952 Dalma Darnley (one son, one daughter); died London 13 August 1994.

BOOK REVIEW / Endless deadly knights: 'The Flanders Panel' - Arturo Perez Reverte Tr. Margaret Jull Costa: Harvill, 15.99 pounds

AROUND 550 BC, in a philosophical treatise known as the Bhavisya-Purana, an anonymous Indian sage gave the first known description of a game called Chaturanga (later known as chess) and explained that it was a reflection of the battles men fought in the real world. Five centuries later, Omar Khayyam compared our life to a game of chess. Life as a game that must be puzzled out; life as a combat whose outcome depends on deliberate moves: these are the convictions chess shares with that other game, the detective story. There, too, a pair of opponents - the criminal, the detective - plot against each other according to the laws of logic.

Belgian King's song jars with Walloons

THE KING of the Belgians has offended half his kingdom by singing too loudly. On 11 July Flanders, which since constitutional reforms last year enjoys partial autonomy in Belgium, celebrates Flemish cultural day with speeches, songs and revelry. The Flemish flag, a lion on a yellow background, flies above Flemish town halls; schools are on holiday; entire villages take the day off.

Letter: Yes, Bruges is very nice, shame about the bigoted British

YOUR leading article 'Small country, not many celebrities' (26 June) omits to mention one of Belgium's most important sons, Adolphe Sax, the 19th- century instrument maker after whom the saxophone was named. No Sax, no Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, et al.

Leading Article: Small country, not many celebrities

WHY DO we not like Belgium? Frequently over the past week it has seemed that the principal objection in Britain to the appointment of Jean-Luc Dehaene as president of the European Commission has been not his politics, nor even his wide girth, but, for some reason, his very Belgian-ness.

The European Elections: Party tricks fail to woo Belgian voters: Fiesta Time: Beer and tombola may not save coalition, Sarah Lambert reports from Geel

Belgians are happy for an excuse to party. Yesterday, on the only sunny day of the year, about 800 party-lovers in this small town squeezed into a tent, bent on enjoying the traditional rites of summer, sing-along music, beer and the chance to win on the tombola. But it was not fun for fun's sake. Unusually in a country with little appetite for politics, this was a party for Europe.

Sea search

A search was launched for a 50-year-old man believed to have fallen overboard from the the P & O vessel the Pride of Flanders crossing from Zeebrugge to Felixstowe. The alarm was raised after one car on the ship remained unclaimed.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / It's his party, but he'll cry off if he wants to

THE ROYAL Academy of Music was, in a manner of speaking, Schnittke'd this week when the star of its 1994 composer-in-residence festival cried off. He was unwell; and after weeks of preparation it must have been a terrible disappointment to the organisers. But the Schnittke Week went on regardless, and did very well, effectively presented by student performers and providing audiences with a portrait of Schnittke's life and works that was at least as valuable as past professional retrospectives.

Obituary: Donald Swann

Donald Ibrahim Swann, composer and entertainer: born Llanelli 30 September 1923; married 1955 Janet Oxborrow (two daughters; marriage dissolved 1983), 1993 Alison Smith; died London 23 March 1994.

Appeals: The Flanders Scottish Alliance

The Flanders Scottish Alliance helps European children who are victims of war, poor medical conditions or neglect. Its most urgent project is the Sick Children's Hospital in St Petersburg; the charity has undertaken to repair the building and a container full of aid and decorating supplies is being sent out soon. The charity has been given computer games to entertain the patients, and urgently needs further donations of such games or funds to buy them.

Tebbit fires broadside at Tories over Europe

LORD TEBBIT yesterday fired a broadside across the Government's strategy for the European elections with a ferocious attack on the post-Maastricht Union, writes Donald Macintyre.

Choice locations

Paris and Amsterdam are the most popular European cities for British tourists, but their position is under increasing challenge from the Belgian city of Bruges, according to a 'league table' of 1993 short-break holiday destinations produced by the Travelscene company. Rome was in fourth place, followed by Vienna, Venice, and Florence.

Battle is joined to save Flemish: Belgians are still fighting an old fight

IN Armistice week, the ghost of battles past has come to haunt Belgium. When the Flemish-speaking Defence Minister with a French name, Leo Delcroix, threatened not to pay his country's contribution to the newly inaugurated European corps unless Flemish was recognised as one of its official languages, alongside French and German, he was immediately denounced in the Francophone press for trivialising the nation's security concerns.

Apartheid comes to a Belgian suburb: Language row stalls the outwardly mobile

OVERIJSE, best-known for its vines and wine festival, is 10 miles from Brussels, the would-be capital of federal Europe. The town hall has a stepped roof in Flemish style. Red geraniums tumble from window boxes. Everything is clean; everyone is white; every day seems as peaceful as the last. But Overijse is in the frontline of a peculiarly Belgian war, a war without bullets. The word most often used to describe the war is 'apartheid'.
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