St. Martin in Thurn, 16 July 2004 Press release

Ferrero-Waldner opens "Richard Agreiter" exhibition at St. Martin in Thurn/South Tyrol


"Preserving cultural diversity in a single Europe"

St. Martin in Thurn, 16 July 2004 - Today Minister for Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner officially opens the exhibition "The Mystery of Form" by the renowned contemporary sculptor Richard Agreiter. Born in the Gader valley in 1941, Agreiter comes from an old Ladin family. He studied art in Innsbruck, Switzerland and Brussels and has been a freelance artist ever since. As an homage to his Ladin roots, Agreiter is now showing bronze sculptures and reliefs in the Ladin Ciastel de Tor Museum at Thurn castle.

Ferrero-Waldner describes Agreiter as "an artist recognised throughout Europe", whose impressive sculptures were already honoured and displayed in Austria three years ago in the Column Hall of the Austrian Parliament: "Thus Richard Agreiter was accorded a rare honour in keeping with the high regard he enjoys in Austria. He has repeatedly shown his closeness to Austria and expressed his high degree of commitment to our country", said the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In Ferrero-Waldner's view Richard Agreiter‘s art is also of great importance for the common project of Europe: "Maybe this very exhibition today by an artist with South Tyrolean roots, who has grown into our common Europe, is proof that Europe is and has always been a cultural project, too. The former head of the regional government, Mr. Silvius Magnago, whom I esteem highly, reminded us several years ago that this diversity must on no account be lost, because cultural identity is also the basis for a sense of home, which offers important support to individuals."

According to Ferrero-Waldner, this cultural identity, which in the case of Agreiter is that of the area inhabited by the Dolomite Ladin people, is perfectly reflected in the artist’s work: "Richard Agreiter‘s creations show us that an outstanding artist coming from a cultural area that is embedded into two other cultural areas has found a universal language. This universal language is at the same time also dedicated to his home, which he has made the centre of his work. The various European cultural and living areas are part of our European identity."