The Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs (MCC) intends to conduct a two-year cultural campaign meant to improve Romania's image in Italy in several towns and cities where large Romanian communities live.
Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs Adrian Iorgulescu told a news conference on Tuesday that Romania had started an image offensive in Italy and the cultural component of this action was the task assigned to MCC by Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.
"The Premier has assigned us the task to draw up a complex programme referring to the Romanian cultural presence in Italy by the end of this year," said the Minister of Culture.
According to Iorgulescu, the foundation of this programme will be laid after a Romanian-Italian bilateral meeting, which will take place in the first part of September in Italy.
The aim of the campaign is to improve Romania's image in Italy as a consequence of the incidents caused by some Romanian citizens in the Italian towns and cities but also to remove some 'extremely brutal' reactions 'by some officials' such as 'fingerprinting some Romanian citizens,' explained Iorgulescu, in whose opinion these actions might be labelled as forms of discrimination. 'We cannot look on and give no response. My role is to improve the contacts and perceptions referring to what the Romanian reality is now, culture being the best instrument. We shall go to Italy with a comprehensive programme of cultural events in all fields, not only in Rome but also in other important cities of Italy,' said Iorgulescu.
MCC will cooperate in this campaign with the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The campaign will be planned starting from the cultural relations Romania has already established. 'We have taken over an inventory of the cultural relations the Romanian cultural institutions have established,' said Iorgulescu, giving as an example a tour the Romanian Opera House will make in Italy this summer, but also the exhibition 'Cucuteni-Tripoli,' which will be presented in the Vatican over September 16-October 31.