Tehran Book Fair Opens a New Chapter in Iran-Italy Cultural Cooperation

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mauro Conciatori, the new Italian ambassador to Tehran, has visited the 28th Tehran International Book Fair, stressing the necessity of developing cultural diplomacy between Tehran and Rome.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA on the sidelines of the book fair, he noted that participation of his country in Tehran International Book Fair could be considered as a turning point in cultural relations between the two countries and the opening of a new chapter in mutual ties between Iran and Italy.

Conciatori said, “This is the first year that Italy has taken part in this international fair after a few years of absence. This presence could be an opportunity to explore existing avenues for more serious and expanded cultural cooperation between the two countries and will pave the way for Iran and Italy to launch considerable cultural activities.”

He also pointed to a meeting in March between the Islamic Republic of Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, and Italy’s Minister of Education, Universities and Research Stefania Giannini, in addition to the country’s Minister of Heritage, Cultural Activity and Tourism Dario Franceschini in Rome, during which the two sides signed a plan of action for three-year cultural cooperation. The Italian envoy then said, “Italy’s participation in this year’s edition of Tehran International Book Fair is the first practical result of that agreement, which covers cooperation between the two countries for translation and publication of Italian books and literature into Persian and vice versa; screening of movies and holding musical concerts in both countries; protection of archeological relics as well as exchange of information between the two countries’ museums and cultural centers. In fact, our participation in this fair signifies the beginning of a new era of cooperation between Tehran and Rome.”

The senior Italian diplomat said, “At present, there is a lot of motivations and necessities for the expansion of cultural diplomacy between Iran and Italy because people of the two countries are very similar in cultural terms and from the viewpoint of their approach to the issue of culture. Even in terms of countenance and feelings, Iranians and Italians are very similar. Therefore, their governments should provide grounds for the two nations to know each other better and also provide their people with necessary tools, with books playing a very important role in this regard.”

Conciatori opined that translation of Italian literary works into Persian and vice versa can be very helpful in promoting cultural cooperation between the two nations and has been put on top of the cultural agenda of Italy with regard to Iran.

“Both our nations will be benefited by this cooperation. Iranian students studying at the Italian universities can also organize joint cultural gatherings with Italian students and exchange ideas and information with academic centers of our country,” he said.

The Italian envoy to Tehran expressed satisfaction with the expansion of cultural cooperation between Iran and Italy, saying, “We actually enjoy cultural activities with Iran and this is a cause of honor for us. Establishment of cultural relations and expansion of cooperation and coordination in this field is easier than other fields of cooperation between governments. Both Iranian and Italian nations have very rich history and ancient civilizations, and cultural activists in both countries are working devotedly and with keen interest.”

The Italian diplomat noted that cultural tools, especially books are very important in cementing relations among nations.

“The participation of Italy in this fair after several years of absence can be considered a turning point in cultural relations between the two countries and can pave the way for further development of economic cooperation, especially in the field of tourism. If such cooperation continues and does not stop, bilateral relations between Tehran and Rome can be expanded in other areas as well,” he said.

More than 300,000 domestic and 165,000 foreign books have been presented at the 28th Tehran International Book Fair. The international section of the fair is being attended by 65 countries running about 130 exhibition stands.

During this year’s exhibition, new programs have been considered to introduce some foreign participants, one of which is holding ceremonies under the general title of “countries days.” In those days, cultural advisors of relevant countries will take part in the ceremony, which will be held in honor of their country. “One day and one language” is also a special program, which is being held on a daily basis in this regard.

Source: IRNA
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

*Photo Credit: Geopolitica

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