lContrary to reports in the Italian press, the library at the Goethe-Institut is not closing but it is being taken over by Romes city council. Nothing has changed, says Soledad Ugolinelli, press officer of the institute. The library remains the same, only now it forms part of the European Library, which was announced on 23 April, World Book Day.

The European Library of Rome is a joint project of Rome city libraries and foreign cultural institutes in the capital aiming to make European literature more accessible, especially to young people. The library will be housed in the Goethe Institut where the German collection will be supplemented by sections in French, English and Spanish. The European Library will open to the public in the autumn.

For further information contact Goethe-Institut, Via Savoia 15, tel. 068440051, www.goethe.de/roma. European Library, www.bibliotecaeuropea.it.

lThe cultural association Alphabets is staging the show Clouds. Home, a mixture of theatre, music and photography based on work by the 2004 Nobel prizewinner for literature Elfriede Jelinek on 29 May at 21.00.

Born in Austria in 1946, Jelinek is one of the most prominent and controversial writers of her country. Some of her novels such as The Piano teacher, Wonderful, Wonderful times, Lust and Women as lovers have been translated into English. The event is sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Austrian Cultural Forum, Viale Bruno Buozzi 113, tel. 063608371, www.austriacult.roma.it.

This event will be held at Teatro India, Lungotevere dei Papareschi. For more information tel. 0655300961.

lPianists Geoffrey Baptiste and Andr Roe will perform selected pieces by Poulenc, Faur, Rachmaninoff, Casella, Jongen and Quinet in a concert organized by the Belgian Academy in conjunction with the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles on 23 May at 19.00.

Belgian Academy, Via Omero 8, tel. 063201889, www.academiabelgica.it. Entrance free.

The concert cycle The Five Pearls of Baroque starts on 20 May at the Cultural Centre Saint Louis of France before continuing with performances at the church of Trinit dei Monti, S. Nicola dei Lorenesi, S. Andrea e Claudio dei Borgognoni, S. Ivo dei Bretoni and S. Luigi dei Francesi on 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 May respectively.

The concerts are intended to promote baroque music in the Italian capital. The five churches the five pearls have recently been restored. The musicians will play instruments dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, helping to recreate the atmosphere in which baroque matured. Entrance free.

For full programme details contact the Cultural Centre Saint Louis of France, Largo Toniolo 20/22, tel. 066802626, www.saintlouisdefrance.it.

The Japanese Cultural Institute is hosting an exhibition entitled The Gift of the Mulberry Bush: Artists and Japanese Paper, 21 April-17 June.

The fibres of the Japanese mulberry bush have long been used to manufacture a strong, versatile paper called kozo, which lends itself to creative use. The works of four artists using kozo as a medium are on display. The Japanese-American sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) is renowned for his feather-light akari lanterns made of kozo, which he describes as poetic, ephemeral, and tentative Looking more fragile than they are, akari seem to float, casting their light as if in passing.

Rome-based artist Nobushige Akiyama makes his own kozo for use in his sculptures, while Milan-based Shuhei Matsuyama uses kozo and other materials to combine vision and sound in his Shin-on paintings. The fourth artist included in the show is Italian Anna Onesti, who travelled to Japan to increase her knowledge of kozo and now uses it in her paintings.

Japanese Cultural Institute, Via A. Gramsci 74, tel. 063224794, www.jfroma.it. Exhibition opening times: Mon-Fri 09.00-12.30, 13.30-18.30 (Weds 17.30). Sat 09.30-13.00. Sun closed.

Marjan Schwegman will give a lecture entitled The Sword of Bolivar in Rome at the Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut on 18 May at 18.00.

When Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez visited the pope in 1999, he is said to have given him a replica of the sword of Simon Bolivar, the South American revolutionary (1783-1830) who fought against Spanish colonial rule. Bolivar was an inspirational figure for 19th-century Italian liberators such as Garibaldi and Mazzini. The lecture will examine why Bolivars influence is still felt today.

Schwegman is professor of history of culture and politics after 1800 at the faculty of arts of Utrecht University and is currently the director of the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome. The lecture marks the 370th anniversary of Utrecht University and will be followed by drinks. Book a place through the www.alumni.uu.nl website or email reception@knir.it for further information.

Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut, Via Omero 10/12, tel. 063269621, www.knir.it.

The Polish Institute is promoting the first exhibition in Rome by the young Krakow-born artist Malgorzata Markiewicz at Studio Stefania Miscetti, 5 May-3 June.

Born in 1979, Markiewicz produces installations using fabrics, wool, rugs and small furnishings which give the idea of a work in progress. In the Rome exhibition, entitled Flowers, she presents a series of photographic and sculptural works inspired by shoes found abandoned in parks, cities and woods.

Flowers are soft sculptures realised by taking off my clothes, Markiewicz explains. I leave the clothes on the grass, between the stones of monuments The mystery of these objects leads the imagination to create the image of a woman undressing while she walks in a specific place.

Polish Institute, Via Vittoria Colonna 1, tel. 0636000723, www.istitutopolacco.it. Flowers is at Studio Stefania Miscetti, Via delle Mantellate 14, tel. 0668805880, Tues-Sat 16.00-20.00.