Last Monday, October 25, a ceremony was held in Panama City to sign two new executive protocols of the Cultural and Scientific Cooperation Agreement in force since 2007 between Italy and Panama. The protocols address the restoration sector’s theoretical and practical training activities, one of the most representative fields of Italian excellence worldwide.
In the evocative setting of the “Salón Paz” of the Palacio de las Garzas, which houses the Presidency of the Republic, and in the presence of the Primera Dama, Yazmin Colón de Cortizo, Ambassador Massimo Ambrosetti signed the two texts with the respectively competent institutional representatives, the Minister of Culture, Carlos Aguilar, and the Vice Minister of the Presidency, Carlos García Molino.
The protocols result from a dialogue that the Italian Embassy has pursued with the various Panamanian institutions to strengthen local capacities in the restoration and conservation of historical, artistic and cultural heritage. They benefitted from the support of the Primera Dama, particularly sensitive to these issues, and the constant commitment of Ambassador Ambrosetti in promoting bilateral cooperation in the cultural sector.
From a technical viewpoint, the two protocols provide for a series of practical activities involving two important Italian academic institutions: on the one hand, the University of Siena (whose Rector Francesco Frati virtually attended the signing ceremony, together with the Mayor of the city, Luigi De Mossi), responsible for the study and restoration of some valuable paintings in the collection of the Presidential Palace; on the other hand, the Polytechnic University of Turin, in charge of assessing the architectural conditions of the two main halls of the “Palazzo de las Garzas”. In the Italian perspective of bilateral cooperation, the most remarkable part of the project concerns the training component foreseen by the protocols. It will allow the export of Italian skills and expertise in the sector and at the same time the training of Panamanian students, future restorers and experts in the management of the country’s cultural heritage.
In his speech, Ambassador Ambrosetti, who strongly wished to carry out this relevant initiative despite the difficulties linked to the pandemic, highlighted the system approach that enhances the synergies between central institutions and the excellence expressed by the territories. He recalled how this program, financed mainly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is particularly important for developing bilateral relations between the two countries.