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France, Ambassador D’Alessandro’s mission to Metz

Francia, missione di sistema dell’Ambasciatrice D’Alessandro a Metz
Francia, missione di sistema dell’Ambasciatrice D’Alessandro a Metz

The mission to Metz of the Ambassador of Italy to France, Emanuela D’Alessandro, accompanied by the Consul General in Metz, Antonella Fontana, the First Social and Cultural Councillor, Andrea Macchioni, and the Economic Councillor, Andrea Domeniconi, has come to an end.

Metz, capital of the Moselle Department, is home to one of the five Consulates General of Italy in France, whose constituency extends to the entire Grand Est Region – one of the country’s leading region  in terms of industry and exports – and is home to over 85,000 resident compatriots – the third largest Italian community across the Alps that is constantly growing. As said by the Ambassador, the relations of the city of Metz with Italy “are truly unique and rooted in a long and very rich history of exchanges, from Roman times to the present day, in which bilateral relations are intense and deep in every sector and cultural, industrial and scientific collaborations are constantly being strengthened”.

The focus of the mission was the third edition of BellissiMetz, a major event for the integrated and cultural promotion of our country co-organised by Ville de Metz, the Consulate General, the Italian Chamber of Commerce for France in Marseille and the Italian Cultural Institute in Strasbourg. The event was officially inaugurated by Ambassador D’Alessandro together with the Mayor of Metz, François Grosdidier, and will see Sicily as the Italian guest of honour until 7 April. One of the main events in the Italian promotion agenda outside Paris, BellissiMetz is also the only event in the city of Moselle dedicated to a foreign country.

The Ambassador and the Mayor took stock of the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation, emphasising the strong contribution of the Italian community to local development. Interest in the Italian language, which is studied by 23,000 young people in the region, continues to spread, as does interest in our culture: emblematic is the case of the Metz Opera House, which, after a major co-production with the Municipal Theatre of Modena, will participate in the celebrations for the centenary of Puccini’s death with a special programme. Trade between the Grand Est and Italy, the region’s second partner with more than EUR 10 billion in trade, is also on the rise.

After a meeting with the Prefect of Moselle, Touvet  that also focused on cooperation in view of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games (as the Olympic Torch will pass through Metz), Ambassador D’Alessandro visited the Robert Schuman House Museum in Scy-Chazelles, an evocative memorial to one of Europe’s Founding Fathers. Together with the President of the Moselle Department, Patrick Weiten, who is also President of the Centre Européen Robert Schuman, the Ambassador paid homage to the French statesman’s grave in the nearby Church of St. Quentin. In the Moselle region, where the statesman lived and retired, “the European dream of Schuman and De Gasperi has been perfectly achieved: a border area in the heart of Europe where so much blood was shed for centuries and where today borders are not even perceived” the Ambassador said. The Ambassador expressed to President Weiten her gratitude for the Department’s support for the Italian archaeological mission to the Gallo-Roman site of Bliesbruck-Reinheim, which benefits from a financial contribution by the Italian Foreign Ministry and is a virtuous example of Italian-French-German scientific cooperation in a cross-border area of considerable interest.

The cultural dimension of the mission was also enriched by a visit to the Pompidou Centre in Metz, a decentralised institution of the Parisian modern and contemporary art museum of the same name, directed by the Italian Chiara Parisi, with whom Ambassador D’Alessandro explored the potential for developing exchanges with Italian museums.

Lastly, Ambassador D’Alessandro met at the Consulate with the staff and top management of the other branches of the Italian system there, as well as with representatives of the local institutional, cultural and economic world, with a view to strengthening synergies and further intensifying relations between the Lorraine territories and Italy.

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