Vienna/Bratislava, 14 October 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "New Cultural Forum in Bratislava with a focus on contemporary art"

Bilateral cultural exchange provides an essential input to good neighbourly relations

Bratislava/Vienna, 12 October 2013 – "Austria and Slovakia established diplomatic relations twenty years ago. As neighbours, Austria and Slovakia share a common history and cooperate closely in many areas. The opening of the new Austrian Cultural Forum in Bratislava is a clear statement acknowledging the importance that cultural and scientific exchange plays in our foreign relations. Austria demonstrated its innovative and creative potential for example with its contribution to the European Capital of Culture Kosice 2013: the "White Noise" pavilion of the SOMA group of architects. The Cultural Forum Bratislava places a clear focus on contemporary art, as is underlined by the photo exhibition "Instructions for Idleness" by Erwin Wurm who recently received the Grand Austrian State Prize", Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said on the opening of the Cultural Forum in Bratislava.

"To present Austrian culture and art abroad, we need places of encounters and also committed people who can find partners for shared projects. The Cultural Forum in Bratislava is such a place and institution and has greatly contributed to deepening the cultural relations between Austria and Slovakia since 1990. This presence is important not only for its high profile but also for its role in furthering the exchange with Slovak artists, creative people and scientists", Lopatka continued.

"I regularly exchange views with my colleague Peter Javorcik about current European issues. Slovakia is an important partner for us as regards EU expansion on the Western Balkans or in projects in the Danube region", Lopatka said after his working meeting with Slovak State Secretary Javorcik.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Austria and Slovakia, the Austrian Embassy in Bratislava together with the Slovak Foreign Policy Society commissioned a study on Austrian-Slovak relations that is soon to be presented in both countries.

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