The year of Italian culture in the United States aims to strengthen ties with the American people, with whom Italy “shares the values of democracy, rule of law, identity and respect for people”, asserted Minister Giulio Terzi, who presented the initiative along with US Secretary of State John Kerry. More than 180 events in 40 American cities aimed at strengthening the “ties that unite us” and at “injecting new dynamism” Terzi explained, underscoring the uniqueness of the “public/private collaboration model” of an Italy “aware of its global modernity”. Terzi is “one of your national treasures and you have rightly reclaimed him”, Kerry stated, recalling having known the minister “when he was Ambassador in Washington”.
Research, discovery and innovation
The main theme of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States is “research, discovery and innovation”. The goal is to present Italy as a country on cutting edge of modern innovation, science and quality production, whose excellence arises from an ancient culture that has been able at every turn in the road to meet present and future challenges. Italian culture and identity will be promoted, presented and articulated in every aspect that has marked our tradition in the past as it does today: art, music, theatre; our architectural and natural patrimony; cinema, literature, science, design and fashion; political, legal and economic culture; and dietary/culinary practices. The events on the calendar will be conducted, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC, Consulates General of Italy and Italian Cultural Institutes, in various cities from east to west coast: Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Miami.
Michelangelo’s David-Apollo at Washington National Gallery
The year of Culture opened on 12 December 2012 with the exhibition of Michelangelo’s David-Apollo at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Other exhibitions will include the Dancing Satyr of Mazara del Vallo, the Ephebos of Motya, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex and the works of Caravaggio, Chia, Morandi and De Chirico. Science and technology will be the focus of special events dedicated to Italian Nobel laureates in science and to Italian triumphs in the field of design from Giò Ponti to Barrique. Musical events will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi. Riccardo Muti and Maurizio Pollini will conduct in some of the most prestigious theatres and concert halls in America. A composition by Nicola Piovani will provide the theme for the Year of Italian Culture and there will be musical tributes to the Italian films that have been honoured with Academy Awards. The theatrical calendar includes De Filippo’s 'Le Voci di Dentro', staged by Milan’s Piccolo Teatro.
Americans grow up dreaming with Verdi, says Kerry
“So many Americans have grown up learning from Galileo and dreaming with the music of Verdi”, Kerry pointed out, as he jokingly added “let’s swap: you keep George Clooney and we’ll keep Michelangelo’s Apollo-David”, recalling the masterpiece now being shown at the Washington National Gallery of Art. “Every American dreams of coming to Italy and, at some point, does”, he then said, adding that Italian culture had been part of the United States for centuries, that “we are linked in every way”, and urging that we “grow together into the future”.