Art Deco overdose in Casablanca

Art Deco on Place des Nations Unies

The name of Casablanca is largely associated with the 1940s, thanks to Michael Curtiz’s movie from 1942. I had heard from friends that the city center had a number of Art Deco buildings and hotels, so this large port city became part of our Morocco trip, but nothing could prepare me for the shock of so much Art Deco in one place.

Rialto Art Deco Movie Theater

Shanghai and Casablanca have a number of interesting common points. They are both large port cities and subtropical, located slightly above the Tropic of Cancer. Although they have been used as ports for centuries, both cities were largely developed in the early part of the 20th century thanks to export of exotic goods from the hinterland to West colonial powers. This greatly influenced the architecture of both cities. All these similarities, give a strong sense of familiarity to a Shanghai visitor to Casablanca. Like new western district were build around Shanghai Old City while preserving it, Casablanca Western city was built next to the Old Medina, that is still inhabited. With a similar structure, history and timing, Casablanca and Shanghai shared a similar architecture from the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco.

Local craft chef d’oeuvre

Although numerous Shanghai Art Deco buildings remains in the city today, many have been demolished and the city center has changed a lot since the 1930s. What is fascinating with Casablanca, is that little has changed. Most of the 1920s to 1940s buildings are still in place, and Art Deco clearly flourished in Casablanca. In the central district, nearly every single building is a declination of the Art Deco style. French young artists and architects (like Majorelle) moved to Morocco and used the city to experiment with the then modern style. Local crafts were used to create unique pieces for the new style. In Shanghai, Chinese wood carving skills were in Art Deco furniture. In Casablanca, the most visible is the use of plaster and ceramic inherited from islamic art, to create exterior sculpture on buildings and mosaics.

Volubilis Hotel, Art Deco with islamic features

Like in Shanghai, early 20th century heritage has been used but largely neglected for decades. Shanghai has its Historic Shanghai association, Casablanca has Casa Memoire. The association’s map was very useful for an overview of the best places to see, although the best is sometimes (just like in Shanghai), just off the beaten track.

Rick’s Cafe

Although Casablanca the movie was not fimed here, an American former diplomat has opened a real life version of Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca. The bar definitely has the right atmosphere, an evocation of the 1930s or 40s, reminding me of Shanghai’s own M on the Bund. A great way to close this short stay in Casablanca.

Art Deco surprises in Mogador

Hotel Beau Rivage in Essaouira
Hotel Beau Rivage

Our short Morocco trip took us to Essaouira, a sea side resort that is famous for its constant climate all around the year. Before air travel, it was the cooling station for Marrakesh and Casablanca, just like Qingdao or Yantai were for Shanghai. Essaouira has a small and pretty Medina with narrow streets to protect from the wind (now protected as UNESCO heritage) and a few Art Deco buildings. The medina is surrounded by a city wall, originally designed by a disciple of 18th century French architect Vauban.

Cafe de France Art Deco interior

The current main square overlooking the sea was clearly made by taking down parts of the Medina wall to clear space in the early 1920s, when the city was called Mogador. Near the square stands Beau Rivage hotel, with is modernist style and its ground floor Café de France that has kept is Moorish Art Deco interior.

Art Deco villa on the Essaouira beach front

The other spot of Art Deco buildings are villas along the beach, South from the old town. This area feels quite similar to places Miami Beach, Long Beach California or Bondi Beach in Sydney. The beach side is now a mix of modern hotels and apartment blocks with a few Art Deco beach villas remaining.

Art Deco beach house
The veterinarian’s house

I managed to talk with an old man enjoying the sunset on the balcony of one of the them. “This house was built for the director of the regional veterinary administration, in 1948, under the French protectorate” he said. For the French civil servants, posting in Mogador must have been quite a remote location, but having a nice villa on the beach to watch the sunset was a pretty nice compensation.

Another villa on the beach

The really interesting part is that I had always thought that French Art Deco stopped with WW2. It seems that in Morocco, Art Deco continued well in the late 1940’s and maybe further, just like it continued in Asia (See post Frankenstein Art Deco). Casablanca architecture was also influenced by California in the 1940s, so the trend of Art Deco beach villas came all the way to Mogador, just like it came all the way to Qingdao, Yantai and other sea side resorts in China.

Marrakesh Art Deco #2

Art Deco pavillon in Jardin Majorelle

This post is the sequel of post Marrakesh Art Deco #1, continuing the series of chance encounters around Art Deco in Marrakesh. Post #1 was about our first day on a sidecar visiting the Gueliz district of Marrakesh as well as discovering the palace hotel and Marrakesh icon, La Mamounia. The second day started with a visit to one of the gem of Marrakesh, the famous garden jardin Majorelle.

Jacques Majorelle was born in Nancy in 1886 and was the son of Nancy furniture designer Louis Majorelle, one of the leader of the major Art Nouveau current, l’école de Nancy. Having grown surrounded by art, Jacques Majorelle naturally turned to painting, studying art first in Nancy, then in Paris. He moved to Morocco in 1919, a few years after the country became a French protectorate. There he developed his career, including a massive ceiling painting for the grand hotel La Mamounia (See post Marrakesh Art Deco #1). His most known work is the Majorelle garden, were he collected plants from all over the world.

Green Pavillon in Jardin Majorelle

Although the garden itself has seen renovation and transformation, elements of it are clearly Art Deco, most importantly the villa Majorelle used as a workshop. Like in some Shanghai Art Deco pieces, and in many other places, Art Deco global influence is blended with locally inspired motives. This is particularly true for the Moorish archways  of the main house (somewhat similar to the house on Duo Lun lu in Shanghai) and motives on the green pavilion. The calm and tranquility of the place is perfectly completed by the beauty of the garden and it dominant Majorelle blue.

Art Deco glass screen in Marrakesh

Our discovery of Art Deco continued with the visit to an antique dealer. Although all his collection is not Art Deco, there was a number of interesting pieces and he liked Art Deco himself. “You have come too late for Art Deco, we have some sold so many pieces. Weatlhy people came to Marrakesh in the 1930s, they would bring pieces from Paris like this one”, he said while pointing at a really nice cabinet. “Some houses had not been opened since the 1950s, then they were sold by the owner’s heirs and the content is dispersed”. I could not stop thinking about a similarity with Shanghai, when old Shanghai house are destroyed or ruinovated and antique art deco pieces are found on the market. One real surprise was a set of stained glass doors. “They were made by a local glass maker who worked with Majorelle”. I wish I could buy it all.

Sassoon room at villa Makassar

A true Art Deco spot was Villa Makassar, the Art Deco riad. Although it is recently built, the owner has spent a lot of effort to design it in Art Deco style and furnish it with antique furniture. Every room has a theme associated to the style, and coming from Shanghai we were offered the Sassoon room. Being greeted by Old Shanghai posters and a picture of actress Hu Die was quite a surprise, and a strong link of our trip with Shanghai homeland.

Art Deco in La Casba

The hotel is located in La Casba, a recent part of the Medina that has clearly been built (or re-built) in the 1920s or 30s, with a few Art Deco buidlings. After these 2 days of being unexpectedly surrounded with Art Deco in Marrakesh, a few more surprises were waiting for us at the seaside town Essaouira.

Marrakesh Art Deco #1

View from Marrakesh from Mount Gueliz
View from Mount Gueliz

Going to Morocco during winter was a great deviation from a long trip in Europe. While preparing for Art Deco beauties of Casablanca, Marrakesh was a real surprise. Beyond the World-famous Medina, getting lost in the souks and admiring the beautiful Atlas Mountains, a series of chance encounters allowed a unique view of the unknown Art Deco side of the city.

Most tourists come to Marrakesh to spend time in the old part of the city, the Medina while they spend little time in Gueliz, the former French district which is mostly residential. After the 1912 protectorate of Morroco, French troups built a fortress on Mount Gueliz and the area was chosen for the French army soldiers to settle. Most of the original architecture on the main road has been replaced by newer buildings during the 1990s, but our guide knew where to look. Rachel Thomann has lived in Marrakesh for years and became the specialist of the Gueliz district while writing her thesis about the area, that is soon to be published as a book. She took us on the sidecar tour with Insiders (a company started in Shanghai), searching for lost Art Deco in Gueliz, starting with an overview of the city by climbing on Mount Gueliz.

French officers house, art deco style

French officers based in Marrakesh built their villas in the 1920s and 30s, in Art Deco style that was popular at the time. Traveling through the small streets lined with orange trees looking at Art Deco / Modernist villas was a great discovery off the usual tourist track. in the 1920s and 1930s,

Gueliz was a modern city, next to century old Marrakesh. Rachel has deeply studied the history of the area. “ Local people living the old City were rarely allowed in the French district. The ones who had this privilege had the feeling they had traveled to France.”

Art Deco apartment building in Gueliz

One of her most beloved place is former Cine-Palace that she managed to save from destruction. 1920s Cine-Palace is to early to be truly Art Deco style, but later additions are spot on. The tour ended with a drink at Café de la Poste, a restored bar and restaurant that is perfect keeping the 1930s feeling.

La Mamounia’s bar, a time travel

This time travel day ended up with a visit night cap at 1923’s grand hotel and Marrakesh icon, La Mamounia. Although the building is from the 1920s but not really Art Deco, but current renovation and lighting really gives the feeling of a trip back to the 1930’s. A grand style ending for a day trip in Marrakesh Art Deco.

Frankenstein Art Deco

Although Art Deco stopped being popular in the 1940s in Europe and America, the style remained in vogue much later in Asia. Examples of Art Deco architecture from the 1950s abound in Singapore, India and Burma among others. In Shanghai, it definitely stopped in the mid 40’s. The Chinese Liberation brought a change of style and Soviet-inspired Socialist-Realism became the norm, with rows of small four-to-six-storey concrete building designed to house families. As discussed in a previous post (See post “The Rise of Fako“, there has been recently a trend toward remodeling or new construction with the addition of Art Deco artifacts, mostly affecting the outside appearance. Art Deco buildings also had a strong influence on 1980s and 1990s buildings in Shanghai, the ones I call Frankenstein Art Deco.

The 1990s was the beginning of the new building boom in Shanghai that persists today. In those early days, the mood was not in massive destruction of the old buildings, as large chunks of the city center were not available to developers. Those new buildings were more often built on the remaining free spaces, mostly the gardens of grand villas in the old part of Shanghai. I imagined this space was already being used, but surely more in an unofficial way, so it was easier for developers to re-appropriate it. In these large spaces, local architects could build new towers using concrete building technologies not so far from the ones used in the 1930s. Buildings from the 1990w were often 20-30 storeys (that is, about the height of Park Hotel on people square), designed by local architects, before foreign architect firms arrived for Shanghai’s recent building boom.

These local architects must have been trained by masters that learned their craft before the 1949 revolution, and it shows in the building designs. As opposed to later apartment blocks, these buildings include light wells, just like 1930s buildings in Shanghai (See post “Brooklyn Court, Route des Soeurs“). Unlike today’s buildings, they were designed before the age of mass air conditioning, so they stuck to natural airflow just as Europeans have always designed them. Another art deco element is the use of porthole round window (oeil de boeuf, or bull’s eye, as they are called in French), and rounded corners. One can also find integrated balconies (that have mostly now been turned into expanded rooms), as opposed to the protruding balconies that are today’s norm (which are also often closed off to supply extra space). Another interesting point is the use of old 1930s style iron-framed windows in many 1990s building. Shanghai continued to produce building materials including roof tile and electrical switches all the way into the 1990s.

In many of these buildings, the link with Art Deco is not so much the outside shape, but the inside decoration. Old Shanghai Art Deco designers often used terazzo and mosaics in their interiors; 1990s architects often specified marble tiles that look quite similar, though much less imaginative.

In any case, Art Deco influences were evident in the 1990s, as architects employed consciously or unconsciously, the designs and techniques of their forefathers. Like many things in Shanghai (including cuisine, see post “Tasting of Old Shanghai”), Art Deco and other 1930s design elements  survived through the 1950s and until the 1980s emerging in attenuated and distorted form in the 1990s in the “Frankenstein” version of Shanghai Art Deco.

Borodin, Stalin’s man in China

Bookk cover
Book cover

Political instability, attraction for the orient as well as the protection of extraterritoriality attracted a large number of adventurers and shady characters to Shanghai and China in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Most of them came for the adventure, the money, or fleeing from justice, but some came for political reasons. Although mostly gone from history books, Russian agent Borodin’s years in China were the high points of his life as well as of highest importance for China. I had read his name in a few history books, but it took years to find and read his full biography, 1981 Dan N. Jacobs book, “Borodin, Stalin’s man in China”.

Mikhail Gruzenberg, best known as Mikhail Markovitch Borodin, was one of the most important Cominterm agent. Born in a small village in today’s Belarus, he managed to become a central figure in Riga’s communist party, working along Lenin during the 1905 failed revolution and participating in 1903 and 1906 Stockholm party congress. There he met Stalin, creating a relationship that would influence the rest of his life.

1906 failed revolution in Russia was followed by heavy repression. Borodin chose exile over prison and ended in London, before being sent to Boston and moving to Chicago. He then attended a low tier university in Valparaiso, Indiana for a short period before coming back to Chicago. He taught English for foreigners at the Hull House, the central point for immigrants communities in Chicago. 6 months later, he opened his own school, teaching English and practical skills in the evenings, while helping spreading communists revolution in Chicago during the day. Having not forgotten about the revolution in Russia, he simply waited until the right time came. In 1918, he was back in Russia to reconnect with his old friends. Being one of the few with extensive international experience, he became a Cominterm agent, in charge of spreading the Revolution all around the World. His first main mission was helping the revolution in Mexico, where he met Indian revolutionary M.N. Roy, coming back to Moscow in 1920. His second mission undercover in England ended with his arrest by the British police, and being expelled to Russia in 1923.

As attempts to spread the revolution failed in Europe, China became one of the points of attention for Moscow. Chinese Communist party was still very small at the time, so an alliance was brought with Sun Yat-sen and his Kuomintang party. Thanks to all his international experience and command of English, Borodin was sent as an envoy to Sun Yat-sen in Guangzhou with the aim of helping him becoming again the leader of China. With his skills and promises of Soviet military help that never materialized, he managed to run the Guangzhou government from the background. Among others, he played a pivotal role in creating Whampoa Military Academy , while putting many communists agents in Kuomingtang administration. However, soviet led communist revolution in China never took place, being stopped by Chiang Kai Shek (himself a graduate of Whampoa Military Academy) in 1927. Borodin barely escaped then but had to return to USSR with a massive failure, ending his extraordinary international career. Communists only took power in China in 1949 under the leadership of Mao ZeDong, but USSR was never able to control it.

The book is an in-depth research of the life of this mostly unknown and quite shady political adventurer. As interesting to read, as hard to find.

10 years of blogging Old Shanghai

10 years old stuff
Becoming part of Old Shanghai

It is somehow difficult to believe but I have been blogging about Old Shanghai since 10 years. Starting with an opening post in July 2006, this blog developed over the summer of 2006. It was originally called Shanghai Old and New and was designed to take notes about research in Old Shanghai and how life in new Shanghai was somewhat parallel to it. Being in the beginning of my search of Old Shanghai, some of the posts were somewhat naive (or sometimes plain wrong). There were also more personal posts, like my favorite “10 years in the red“, “A l’arrière des taxis” or “Decadence on the Bund“. Shanghai was by far not the international city that it is today, although the number of foreigners was increasing rapidly. The Shanghai of 2006 reminded me more of my life in Hungary or Vietnam before, having still a strong communist aftertaste that it has now totally lost. China had was not yet at the forefront of technology evolution and the whole organisation felt sometimes back to the 60’s (a little bit like in the new place I have moved to, that is run by a state company, see post “Leaving route Kaufmann“). Information about Shanghai life was mostly available through paper media (remember That’s Shanghai?), directions were found on paper maps, discounts in store came in the form of an actual booklet (apps did not exist yet) and free postcards were a effective way to advertise (see picture).

2016 seems very close and very far away at the same time. Expo 2010 has come and helped the city re-transform into a global point. Once again Shanghai is at the head of innovation, including architecture wonders like the latest Shanghai Center (the 2nd tallest building in the World). The muddy waters of Pudong in 1930’s Shanghai have turned into the center of the financial system for the country and the region. Another massive phenomenon is Chinese tourism both in China and in the country. Hidden places in China like Gu Lan Yu (see posts “The revival of GuLanYu” and “Night on GuLanYu“), or Tianjin former Italian Concession (See post “Piazza Regina Elena, Tientsin“) have become overcrowded with tourists. Streets of the Shanghai French Concession, have nicely transformed into something like Greenwich Village or Saint-Germain, with people zipping coffee on terraces. While many old buildings have been destroyed, some have been happly restored (see post Wukang Lu tourist information center) and some of the old names of streets can be sometimes seen.

The main change is surely that Old Shanghai is not a taboo as it was. The story is not anymore that foreigners were evil and brought all troubles to China. Thanks to movies and TV Series (See post “Shanghai Shanghai“), the ideas that seem to dominate among young Shanghainese is that Old Shanghai was a Chinese metropolis with strong foreign influence, very modern for its time (See post “Ordinary metropolis, Shanghai a model of urbanism” ). This strongly connects with today’s modernity in Shanghai.

Having spent more than 13 years in Shanghai, events and places that from the early days now seem far away. Having recently moved, I found a box of old advertising post card from 2004 to 2006. As I put the above picture on social medias, I realized that this sounds like far in time for many people in today’s Shanghai, just getting older, like a new part of Old Shanghai.

Ordinary Metropolis – Shanghai: a Model of Urbanism

urbanism 001Books published by scholars both in China and abroad have long shown that China’s modernity was created first in Shanghai, in the 1920’s ans 1930’s. The city rapidly caught on with the rest of the World after World War 1, thanks to numerous exchanges and people travelling between Shanghai, and Europe and the USA. Visible intake were the Art Deco building still visible in the city, dance halls, cars, advertising, department stores and all the other elements that are still found while researching today. They also brought fresh ideas, including in town planning for Shanghai, which is the center of a current exhibition at Shanghai Power Station of Art. It has 2 main parts, one about new Shanghai planning from the 1930’s and the other about 1930’s architecture and design, in particular Dayu Doon’s art deco house built in that area.

Shanghai former Civic Center
Shanghai former Civic Center town hall

The first part of the exhibition is focused on town planning for the new Jiang Wan area: After taking back control of a large part of China, Chiang Kai Shek quickly unified the parts of Shanghai that were around the International Settlement and the French Concession. Creating the Shanghai municipality also made clear that the center of Shanghai was the concessions, so the republican government went on creating a new city center for Shanghai, in what is now Jiangwan area, in today’s Yangpu district. Inspired by Washington DC, the new Civic Center included the new town hall of Shanghai, a museum, a national library and a major hospital. The exhibition shows rarely seen maps and efforts of planning this new district that was only partly built from 1927 until the Japanese invasion in 1937. It also details how land was supposed to be allocated to various functions, the very concept of zoning that is still applied in Shanghai today.

Art deco house
Dayu Doon art deco model house

The second part is focused on the art of architect Chinese modernism, in particular Dong Dayou / 董大酉 (Dayu Doon in English) who was one of the main promoter of Chinese modernism. He designed a model house for the area around the Civic Center, that can be compared with  international modern style of the time, as well as foreign modernist architects of the time in Shanghai Laszlo Hudec (orginally from Hungary) and Leonard & Vesseyre (from France). Another art deco house on display by architect Poy Gum Lee looked really familiar to me, until I realised it is located opposite from my office (more about this in a coming post).

Magazines from the 1930's
Magazines from the 1930’s

Beyond the architect work, the exhibition also includes many examples of graphic art and magazines displaying modern style of the time, showing that Shanghai was the door through which modernity came to China in the 1930’s. This modern movement was not only brought by foreigners, but really embraced by Chinese artists and everywhere in Shanghai. After reading many books on the topic, this is the first time I see such an exhibition in China.

Leaving Route Kaufmann

House Anting Lu
Leaving the house

Today was a major change in Shanghai for me. After 12 years of living in Old Shanghai houses (nearly all my stay in Shanghai), I finally moved to a modern high rise. After 1 year at the corner of Rue Lafayette (today Fuxing Lu) and Rue Pottier (today BaoQing Lu), beginning Avenue Pétain (today HengShan Lu), life started at the end of a lane of the tranquil Route Kaufmann (today Anting Lu). Passage 81 Route Kaufmann (Anting Lu 81). This was not only time travel, it was practically a time trap.

Waking up to the sounds of birds in the surrounding garden, at the very end of a quite lane was practically like living in Old Shanghai. Although we shared the house with 4 -5 neighbors (including some really evil ones), we had a 2 bedroom apartment in an old house, with most of the original doors, ceilings and windows. This apartment was just like a time machine and having taken it empty, we filled it slowly but surely with lot’s of Old Shanghai treasures found here and there.

sculpture Anting lu
Doors sculpture

I have often though about the original (wealthy) owners of the house (probably Chinese from my research). With the level of details, I assume they took great care in building this Spanish Revival house around 1936. Unfortunately for them, by 1937 the Japanese attacked Shanghai, invading the concessions in 1941. Then the Chinese revolution came in 1949 and the house was probably confiscated, if the original owners were still living in it. Looking at how little the other occupants I shared the house with cared about it, I can probably say that we lived longer in there than the original owner, while really caring about the house.

When I moved in, the house was in a good state, though it clearly was not really cared about. It was really similar to Eastern Europe communism confiscation of bourgeois property, sharing a beautiful building among numerous people who used it without care. Unfortunately, in the last 10 years, needed maintenance was lacking, including massive roof repair (to stop water leaks !), water proofing the walls, pruning the trees that obscured the house and cleaning the garden that became a jungle. Since nobody was willing to do anything… it became clear at some point that we needed to get away.  We waited as much as we could, but finally moved yesterday.

view
Room with a view

The major change is that we moved to a high rise. This is definitely a jump in time, a slide from Shanghai 1930’s straight to modern Shanghai. The great advantage is the view, overlooking Xu Jia Hui Park. We have moved to modernity but not left the French Concession, now living at the corner of Route Destelan (GuangYuan Lu) and Route Prosper Paris (Tianping lu), nor left our lovely furnitures and other items. Moving to modernity will surely not be the end of the passion for Old Shanghai nor of this blog… which is not now turning 10 years old.

Laszlo Hudec alma mater

Hudec uni 002m
Inside the main lobby

Having lived in Budapest for years before moving to Shanghai, I always felt a special connection to Hudec Laszlo, the Hungarian architect who did the same things about 100 years ago to become one of the leading architect in Shanghai. Hudec was totally unkown when I reached Shanghai in 2004, but his return to fame from 2007-2008 helped me getting back in touch with Hungary. I recently took a trip back to Budapest after a number of years of absence. Having met Hudec great grandniece at the Shanghai World Congress on Art Deco, it was obvious to go and meet her in Budapest and a great opportunity to visit Laszlo Hudec’s alma mater, Budapest Technical University also called Müégyetem.

Hudec mark book
Hudec mark book

Csedy Virág, Laszlo Hudec great grandniece has created the Hudec project in Budapest, studying the elements of Laszlo Hudec’s life available in Hungary, including correspondence with his family, in particular with his sister and brother in law. Originally from Bistrica Banya (today Banska Bistrica in Slovakia), Laszlo Hudec went to Budapest for studying at what was the main technical school of Hungary at the time, and one of the most advanced in the world. He lived in a place owned by the reformed church in Budapest VIII district and studied at Müégyetem. In this period before WWI, Budapest was a vibrant city, full of people from all corners of the empire. Art and crafts were celebrated and a massive transformation of the city had taken place in the previous 30 years until that time. As an architect student, Hudec surely walked around these buildings, along with Gresham Palace, the chain bridge, taking the tram 47 -49 over the Danube to city center.

Hudec uni 001m
Laszlo Hudec used to walk here

As shown in Hudec marks book, his teachers at the university were the best at the time in the country, many of them designed architecture wonders that still make the city beautiful today. Amongst many was Karoly Kos, who designed the Budapest Zoo. Another graduate of the same university was Imre Steindl who designed the Budapest parliament house. Being taught by the bests of his time, Hudec carried this heritage and skills to Shanghai, creating some the iconic buildings of the city including the Park Hotel, Grand Theater and many more. Having made it in Shanghai, he brought his younger brother from Hungary to help him, who unfortunately died after a few years. Hudec was planning of returning at some point in Hungary, purchasing land and a ranch in the area surrounding Budapest. Leaving China after World War 2, he never went back as it was occupied by Soviet troups and became part of the East European bloc.

Visiting Müegyetem was a great experience, as I had passed in front many time but never went into it during my time living in Budapest. Hudec Laszlo story of traveling so far and being one of the main architects in Shanghai, to be forgotten for decades is still a fascinating story, strongly linked to both Hungary and China. Hudec and his work are now famous again in Shanghai, unfortunately few people know about him in his homeland of Hungary. I hope this will change in the future.