Gallery Link: MEETING WITH GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL | BERLIN GERMANY | FEBRUARY 12

Taking a break from promoting his latest film, “Hail, Caesar!,” in Germany, George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, paid a visit to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.  The actor-activist and the human-rights attorney sat down for a private meeting with Merkel to discuss the crisis in Syria and Europe’s efforts to help the Middle Eastern nation’s refugees, the Associated Press reported. They talked about “the responsibilities of all states, not just European states but states around the world, to deal with what is a global problem, not just a Syrian problem or a German issue,” said former British foreign secretary David Miliband, who now helms the International Rescue Committee aid group and joined the couple for the 40-minute sit-down.

Amal and George Clooney Speak to Syrian Refugees in Meeting with International Rescue Committee in Berlin, Germany.

In February of 2015, Amal Clooney and George Clooney met with one of the Syrian families that Timo Stammberger had photographed as part of “Humans of Lageso“. You can read Mahmoud and his family’s story here: Mahmoud and his family

Gallery Link: SYRIAN REFUGEE MEETING | BERLIN GERMANY | FEBRUARY 12 | PHOTOS: © TIMO STAMMBERGER

From Life & Style

Actor. Director. Humanitarian. California governor? George Clooney may soon be following in the footsteps of his Hollywood peer-turned-politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A political insider exclusively tells Life & Style the Democratic Party is eying George for the 2018 gubernatorial race.

“Democrats are looking for the perfect successor to [current governor Jerry Brown], and George is interested,” the insider tells Life & Style, on stands now. “He has it all: He’s a handsome movie star with a social conscience who has used his fame for human-rights causes.”

Another political plus for George? His recent engagement to Amal Alamuddin, an internationally respected human-rights attorney the Democrats calls “a dream” first lady.

“They are thrilled George is going to be married, because they think a married George will be taken a whole lot more seriously than perpetual-bachelor George.”

He’s got our vote!

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Here’s a bit of gossip for you.  George has always said Politics wasn’t for him but then he also said he wouldn’t get married again either.

He has conquered Hollywood and is smitten with his new fiancee , but George Clooney now has his eye on another challenge – politics.  The heart-throb, 53, is planning to launch his new career after he ties the knot with Brit lawyer Amal Alamuddin, 36, in September, following an eight-month romance.  George already counts President Obama as a friend and is a committed political activist.  Now he is looking to take on a more official role, and could even run for office.   A pal said: “He has big ambitions and aims to get into politics imminently.  “He wants to do more humanitarian work and hopes to join the Democrats’ 2016 election campaign.” London-based barrister Amal, who represented WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, is one of the world’s leading human rights specialists.

London-based barrister Amal, who represented WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, is one of the world’s leading human rights specialists.  And it seems she has spurred on Gravity star George to step up his ambitions.  The pal said: “George is thinking of how he can get more involved.  “Now he has Amal by his side it will give him more credibility to run for office.”  The actor rallied for Mr Obama at the 2012 election and was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy after a planned protest over Darfur.   That year he ruled out running for president and said: “There’s a guy in office who is smarter than anybody.  “I have no interest.”  But a week is a long time in politics – and two years is almost an eternity .

Source: LINK

George Clooney likes to wear his heart on his sleeve. Or at least his politics on his T-shirt. Looking surprisingly relaxed in a Beverly Hills hotel suite at the end of a long day of interviews, he’s wearing jeans and a black leather jacket over a T-shirt bearing the face of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Clooney says he is keen to promote awareness of the plight of the former Ukrainian prime minister turned political prisoner, who has since been released from jail during unrest in the eastern European nation. ”You know, she’s certainly guilty of no crime and she may have made a bad deal with the Russians but we’ve all done those … I like to wear shirts that help bring attention to things that don’t get attention sometimes.”

The savvy humanitarian, who has a long history as a human rights campaigner in areas as diverse as the conflict in Darfur and same-sex marriage, figured out long ago how to promote a film and his politics at the same time.

With the Oscar-winning Good Night and Good Luck he made not-so-subtle digs about the media’s right to freedom of speech, while The Ides of March turned a cynical eye on political campaigning.

Read the rest of this entry »

George Clooney has struck back at Boris Johnson, after the wily-haired Mayor of London compared the affable Hollywood heartthrob to one of the evilest men in history.

Johnson’s comments came after The Monuments Men star suggested that Britain take proper steps to return the 2,500-year-old Elgin Marbles to it’s original home of Greece.

As part of his column for the Telegraph, the Mayor wrote that Clooney had “lost his marbles” over the Elgin affair, before adding: “And where were the Nazis going to send the Elgin marbles? To Athens! This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London’s cultural treasures.”

And the usually good-humoured Clooney wasn’t about the let Johnson’s words go unchallenged.

“I’m a great fan of the Mayor, and I’m sure my right honorable friend had no real intention of comparing me to Hitler,” Clooney said in a statement to the Huffington Post UK.

“I’d chalk it up to a little too much hyperbole washed down with a few whiskeys. I’ve found myself in the same spot a time or two so I hold no ill will.

“When it comes to real facts, not imagined history, you need only to look at the UNESCO rulings that have been agreed to by all parties.

“An occupying nation can’t sell off the national heritage of the country it occupies.

” More relevant is the fact that the Parthenon Marbles were chipped away from the Parthenon by the occupying Turks and sold. It was a single monument broken into bits. It would be as if the statue of David’s head were sold to England. His arm to the Vatican. And his torso to the Met.

“There are many pieces in nearly every country that this conversation should take place. The best place to start would be at the most obvious object. When polled the British people are overwhelmingly in favour[sic]  of their return.

“The rest of the world follows suit. If you want to deal in facts. Those are the facts. But maybe it’s just easier to compare me to Hitler.”

The actor voiced his opinion on the sculptures, which were taken to Britain from the Parthenon in Greece in the 19th century, during a press conference to promote his new film, The Monuments Men.

Set in World War II, the movie, which Clooney has directed, written and stars in, is about a platoon of soldiers on a mission to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

“Even in England the polling is in favour of returning the marbles from the Pantheon [sic], the Pantheon marbles,” he said.

He went on to add that parts of the Parthenon has been given back by the Vatican already, and that returning the pieces displayed at the British Museum was “probably the right thing to do”.

The Independent

LONDON — If George Clooney thought the battle over art’s rightful ownership — the subject of his World War II movie “The Monuments Men” — was in the past, he knows better now.

The actor-director has touched a nerve in Britain by suggesting the 2,500-year-old Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Greece.

At a press conference Tuesday, Clooney called for “an open discussion” on the fate of the ancient friezes, which were taken by British diplomat Lord Elgin 200 years ago.

Both the Vatican and the J. Paul Getty Museum had sent parts back, Clooney said, raising the question “of whether or not one piece of art should be, as best as possible, put back together.”

“There are certain pieces that you look at and think, that actually is probably the right thing to do,” Clooney said.

The fate of the marbles, originally part of the Parthenon temple, is a longstanding issue between Britain and Greece. Greece calls them looted art, and wants all the friezes reunited in a museum in Athens.

Greek Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos thanked Clooney for his support, calling him “an active citizen and creative artist who adamantly defends what is just and good.”

The British Museum, which houses the marbles, says they “are a part of the world’s shared heritage and transcend political boundaries” and are best displayed in London, where the public can view them for free.

Clooney, who directed and stars in “The Monuments Men,” said he hadn’t meant to spark a storm when he answered a question from a Greek journalist about the marbles at the Berlin Film Festival last week. And he said he’d been told that, as an American, he couldn’t understand the issues.

“That can’t always be the British default setting,” co-star Matt Damon told British reporters, half-joking. “That’s not actually an argument, to say ‘Well you’re American.”‘

Bill Murray, another star of the movie, had a firmer opinion on the ancient artwork.

“It’s had a very nice stay here, certainly,” Murray said. “But London’s gotten crowded. There’s plenty of room back there in Greece.”

“The Monuments Men” tells the true story of a unit of Allied architects, artists, curators and museum directors sent into Europe to prevent art treasures being destroyed or looted by the Nazis.

Adapted from a nonfiction book by Robert Edsel, the film has been criticized for changing names and details. The family of British historian Ronald Balfour, one of two monuments men killed during the war, expressed disappointment that he does not appear in the film. The only British character, played by “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville, is an alcoholic academic in search of redemption.

“We didn’t want to give any of these real men flaws that would be in any way upsetting to their families,” Clooney said. “We just wanted the ability to tell a story without offending anyone.”

That desire to avoid offence may be one reason the movie — which features a starry international cast including John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett — has been called dull and dutiful by some critics.

At its heart, though, the story is gripping. Journalists were reminded of that by the presence at Tuesday’s news conference of Harry Ettlinger, one of the few surviving monuments men.

Ettlinger fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, and, as a 19-year-old U.S. soldier, was attached to the unit in 1945 because he could speak German. He’s the inspiration for a character played by Dimitri Leonidas in the movie.

One question the film asks is: Can saving art be worth a human life?

“Art needs to be around us to make life more meaningful, more enjoyable,” Ettlinger said. “We would not like life with white walls around it.”

Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

BERLIN — George Clooney said the U.K. should return Greek art treasures in its possession, during a press conference for his film “The Monuments Men” at the Berlin Film Festival Saturday.

Asked by a Greek journalist whether Greece should claim its historic monuments back from Britain, he said: “I think you have a very good case to make about your artifacts. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were returned.

“I think that is a good idea. I think that would be a very fair and very nice thing. Yeah, I think it is the right thing to do.”

The possession by British museums of Greek artifacts — such as the Elgin Marbles, which were taken from the Acropolis in Athens — has long been a bone of contention between the two countries. The question fitted nicely with the theme of Clooney’s film, which follows the attempt by a squad of art experts to return stolen works of art to their rightful owners in post-war Germany.

The press conference had got off to a somber start when festival chief Dieter Kosslick announced that the reason that the press conference had started late was that a journalist had collapsed at the preceding press screening of Clooney’s film. He added that the journalist had been taken to hospital and was okay.

In the press conference, Clooney was also asked why he had expressed his support for the protesters in the Ukraine, through a message he posted on YouTube. He explained that the Klitschko brothers, who are among the leaders of the opposition movement in the Ukraine, were friends of his, dating back to his work on “Ocean’s Eleven,” in which Wladimir Klitschko had a role, but he said it went further than just friendship.

“I like them very much, but I was also aware of (Ukraine politician) Yulia Tymoshenko and the fact that Yulia hasn’t committed a crime, yet she has been placed in jail. And it seems like it gets lost in all the shuffles of news, and doesn’t get talked about, so I just wanted to show some support for that.

“I think the protesters are having a very difficult time, and I know that there are some hooligans on their side who are also making life difficult. So it is going to be a very long struggle, but I find it to be an important one to at least point out that the people are hoping for their own self determination.”

 

George Clooney expressed his support for all who fight for their rights and democratic values ​​in Ukraine.

American actor George Clooney took to YouTube on Monday in solidarity with demonstrators in Ukraine who have gathered en masse to oppose the government’s push toward Russia and away from the European Union.

“I wanted to send a message to all of you brave citizens of Ukraine, who are struggling to look forward and not back,” Clooney said. “We here in the United States have great affinity for those seeking democracy. We have learned through trial and error that true democracy cannot exist without a free and fair and honest election.”

Clooney said democracy in Ukraine was not possible when its government arrests and harms peaceful protesters, and when politicians like ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are jailed because others disagree with their positions. ”So let me just say this to all of you in the square in Kiev, or all around Ukraine,” Clooney said: “When you look to the West, know that we are looking back at you with great admiration. We wish you a peaceful and safe mission. We wish you the government that you want. And we wish you the strength to carry on. Good luck.”

The minute-long video was posted on the verified account of opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, the champion boxer and leader of the pro-West Udar party, and his brother Wladimir. Clooney, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor known for his roles in the Oceans franchise, Up in the Air and The Descendants, frequently steps into the humanitarian issues like the crisis in Darfur.

On Sunday, a week into the newest demonstrations, more than 500,000 people were estimated to have swarmed Kiev to protest against President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a trade and association agreement with the E.U. These are the largest gatherings since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Source

Thanks Trixie @  Clooney Aficionados for the headsup!