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Sereni, cultural diplomacy an integral part of our foreign policy

“The contribution that the world of culture can give to the resumption of the promotion activities abroad of the Country System is decisive, not only for the value of the cultural activities themselves but also because it is precisely the action in the cultural field that defines the image and ‘narrative’ of Italy in the world”. This was stated by Vice Minister Marina Sereni at the area coordination meeting of the directors of the Italian Institutes of Culture in the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

“In such a difficult moment of our history,” – Ms Sereni explained – “the cultural and creative sector, more than others, is asked to give its contribution to interpret the present and imagine the future after the pandemic. Within the framework of the ‘Cura Italia’ Decree, the Foreign Ministry will have to manage a package of initiatives to support exports and part of these resources are destined to integrated promotion. In this regard, – the Deputy Minister continued – I remember that a few days ago we gathered virtually all the main associations representing Culture and Tourism sectors at the Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, the need for greater coordination between institutions and players in cultural and creative sector, the launch of an extensive communication campaign and “country branding” aimed at the international public, and a medium and long-term program to activate cooperation, partnerships and co-productions between Italian and foreign cultural realities emerged.

It is necessary that the network of offices abroad, starting with the Institutes of Culture, is fully involved in this effort, which can only be successful if it is not only well coordinated by the centre but above all declined taking into account the different local situations and sensitivities. This emergency – Ms Sereni concluded – forces us on the one hand and allows us on the other hand to relaunch the role of cultural diplomacy as an integral part of our foreign policy and our presence in the world”.

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