Wien, 4. September 2012 Press release

Austria’s International Cultural Policy Creates Encounters

Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Spindelegger increases the network density of the Cultural Fora and adds Austrian Points of Cultural Contact at all embassies. Christian Prosl appointed coordinator of FMEIA for the 2014 memorial year.

Vienna, 3 September 2012 – “In future there will be one designated contact for Austrian artists at each Austrian representation office abroad”, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger explained at this year’s International Policy meeting. With “Austrian Cultural Contact Points” at all Austrian embassies and general consulates, the network of Austria’s international cultural policy will be more closely meshed in future.

“Despite all the experience in the virtual worlds of the arts I am still convinced of the importance of real cultural activity. Personal encounters are important, and they need the physical locations we provide”, Spindelegger continued. “All our embassies and consulates have arts and culture on their agendas.”

The highlights of international cultural policy in autumn will be the Austrian Cultural Festival in Sochi that will be opened in September; Austria’s participation as host at the Festival Cervantino in Mexico, the largest Latin American arts festival, in October; the “Austrian Month” in this year’s European capital of culture Maribor in October; and the 10th anniversary of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York where celebrations began in May this year.

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger also announced that former Austrian Ambassador in Berlin and Washington, Christian Prosl, was appointed coordinator for the projects of the Foreign Ministry planned for the 2014 memorial year “100 Years Outbreak of World War I”. Given the multitude of commemoration events (75 years outbreak of WW II, 25 years fall of the Iron Curtain, etc.), 2014 is sometimes referred to as the “Year of Contemporary European History”.

The Vice-Chancellor mentioned the Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilisations organized by Austria, which will be held in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna at the end of February 2013, as an important milestone in Austria’s activities in the dialogue of cultures. By then the newly established Dialogue Centre in Vienna will have taken up its work and be able to contribute its input to this summit meeting.

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