Wien, 19. October 2006 Press release

Culture as a driving force behind good neighbourliness

19.10.2006

10th anniversary of Austrian Cultural Forum on Prague's Jungmann Square

Vienna, 19 October 2006 - "The new opportunities for good neighbourly relations between the Czech Republic and Austria and the need to work through the two countries' multi-faceted common cultural, historical and academic heritage were the starting point for the mutual foundation of cultural institutes in Prague and Vienna. Following its opening in 1993 by the then Foreign Minister Dr. Alois Mock on the premises of the Austrian Embassy in Prague, it subsequently proved possible to find suitable permanent accommodation for the Austrian Cultural Forum in a former monastery located in Prague's historic city centre, which was formally inaugurated in 1996 by State Secretary Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner," said Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix, Head of the Cultural Policy Section at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum on Prague's Jungmann Square.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague has occupied an established place in the cultural life of the Czech Republic ever since. Organising more than 250 events every year, the Forum supports a cultural dialogue that is retying the threads between Czech and Austrian culture that were repeatedly and violently severed throughout the twentieth century. Cooperation with Czech partners is sought and found wherever possible.

On 20 October 2006, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague is celebrating its 10th anniversary at its prominent location almost directly on Wenceslas Square. A formal ceremony which will also be attended by the Czech Minister of Culture will be accompanied in the afternoon by various concerts by Austrian musicians of different genres ranging from folk music to classical and jazz, followed by a podium discussion in the evening between the former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Erhard Busek and the former Czech Minister of Defence Karel Kühnl on the role of the Czech Republic and Austria in the new Europe.

Further information may be accessed on the homepage of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague at www.austria.sz/kultur or www.aussenministerium.at/pragkf

Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Cultural Policy Section
Cultural PR Unit
Tel: (+43-0) 5011503564
Fax:(+43-0) 5011593564
E-Mail: Andreas.Pawlitschek@bmaa.gv.at