| || Only at the Lycée André Malraux in Montereau-Fault-Yonne, southeast of Paris, can students correct their lessons in Greece, munch a sandwich in Portugal, and chat for a while in Denmark. This map of the European Union, painted by the students with their teachers’ permission, has adorned the courtyard of the school since April 2002, when twelve of the union’s fifteen countries adopted the euro as their common currency. Although clearly visible here, borders between states are gradually disappearing in Europe, while the real, invisible frontiers—between Basques and Spaniards, Walloons and Flemings, Catholics and Protestants in Belfast—endure. The eastern frontier is preparing to open to welcome the next ten member states, who are drawn to this Europe of democracy and prosperity. The union will spend 25 billion euros (about $28.75 billion), or 0.08 percent of its gross domestic product, on these newcomers during the first three years after enlargement. This is less than a tenth of the amount Germany has spent on its reunification since 1990. As for the students, they are ready to take up their brushes again in 2004.
Visit the YAB Gallery for books and signed prints