Intensification of cultural neighbourhood relations with EU accession candidate Bulgaria
Inauguration of the Austrian Library "Elias Canetti" on 20 May
Vienna 19 May 2005 - On 20 May the Austrian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be opening its 51st "Österreich-Bibliothek" (Austrian Library) at a central location in Rousse/Bulgaria. The new library is dedicated to the famous Austrian writer and Nobel Prize laureate Elias Canetti (born on 25 July 1905), who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. The inauguration marks a further step in the continuous expansion of the network of Austrian Libraries started in 1989, and a further step towards enhancing Austria’s proactive cultural foreign policy approach in Central and Eastern Europe.
Austria is thus setting a landmark in commemoration of the renowned man of letters and Nobel Prize laureate and at the same time emphasising Austria’s ties with the writer’s native town. The library in Rousse is the third "Österreich-Bibliothek" (Austrian Library) in Bulgaria.
"If somebody travelled up the Danube, people used to say he was travelling to Europe", says Ambassador Emil Brix, Head of the Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Policy Section, quoting Elias Canetti. He continues: "The Austrian Libraries in Central and Eastern Europe are a success story of our cultural work and the envy of many other states. A further objective of setting up this "Österreich-Bibliothek" is the sustainable strengthening of our cultural relations with the EU accession candidate Bulgaria."
The Foreign Ministry's partners in the foundation of the new "Österreich-Bibliothek" are the Regional Administration of Rousse, the Municipality of Rousse, the International Elias Canetti Society and the European Cultural Centre at the University of Rousse.
The inauguration of the library will be performed by the Head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s Cultural Policy Section, Ambassador Emil Brix, together with Mayor Eloenore Nikolova, Governor Rumen Januarov and Rector of the University Marko Todorov in the presence of the Austrian Ambassador Karl Diem and the Director of the Elias Canetti Society, Penka Angelova.
The first cultural events at the library will be a reading given by Doron Rabinovici and a one-day Elias Canetti Symposium. These events will be followed by exhibitions on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the composer Alexander Zemlinsky.
For further information please contact:
Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Cultural Policy Section
Cultural PR Unit
Tel: (+43-0) 5011503564