The foreign ministry conducts an intense and detailed promotion of Italian culture through its Directorate General for Cultural Promotion and cooperation, aimed at its dissemination through the network of Italian Cultural Institutes.
The most important aspects of these promotional activities include theatre performances, art exhibitions and concerts, language courses, incentives to translate Italian literature and study grants for foreigners, alongside a complex network of Italian scholastic institutions abroad.
With the help of the diplomatic-consular network and the Cultural Institutes, the Directorate General for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation stipulates cultural and scientific executive agreements and protocols with other countries in order to pave the way for various forms of collaboration as well as funding them.
The DGPCC is also very active in multilateral spheres through Unesco. Italy is one of the main donors to that international organisation and makes a major contribution to the achievement of its goals with ideas, technicians and projects.
Highly important in the dissemination of Italian language and culture are “Major Events” such as Expo Aichi 2005, Year of Italy in China 2006, Italian Spring in Japan 2007, and the Italian Rainbow in Vietnam 2007, whose integrated approach is aimed at promoting System Italy in all its various aspects.
Some more specifically cultural events in 2007 include travelling exhibitions of the Foreign Ministry Contemporary Art Collection and Italy’s participation in the Festival “Europalia” in Brussels, while those of 2008 will include Italy’s participation as guest of honour at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara (Mexico), certainly one of the most important sector events on the Latin-American continent.
Important also is the maintenance of the foreign ministry’s contemporary art collection in its Rome headquarters, the “Farnesina Palace”, with a broad range of 20th century Italian art that enriches the already prestigious spaces of the ministry and bears clear witness to Italian contemporary culture as an integral part of foreign policy.
The collection’s curator is Prof. Maurizio Calvesi, who has sought to maintain harmony between context and container in such as way as to enhance the various forms of 20th century visual arts: paintings, sculpture, mosaic and installations embellish the building’s halls and rooms.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes every opportunity to allow the public to enjoy this patrimony, also outside the confines of the ministry and of Italy, both by organising travelling exhibitions and by allowing the public in on special days to view the collection.