Baku - Today, in Baku, at the National Art Museum, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, Abulfas Garayev, the Ambassador of Italy, Augusto Massari and Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Kestutis Jankauskas, attended the presentation of the results of the project "Support to the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan for the modernization of its policy and management system in the culture sector".
The EU financed the project (1.2 million Euros) under the Twinning program. The project is under Italian guidance and implemented by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Italian Tourism (MIBACT), in collaboration with Confservizi CISPEL Toscana.
The aim of the initiative is to promote the cultural sector in Azerbaijan, through a more modern policy and through the full appreciation of the historical and cultural heritage of the South-Caucasus country, also with the goal of boosting tourism, which has been growing in recent years.
Minister Garayev expressed his full satisfaction with the work carried out by the project, which began in February 2016; the government of Baku will use the final recommendations for a legislative reform in the cultural field so that "culture and creative industries can be a valuable contribution to the national economy, which needs to be differentiated from traditional oil and gas sector".
One of the tools suggested by the Italian-led project is the use of the public/private partnership instrument, which is still insufficiently used in Azerbaijan in the cultural sector. The project manager, who led the project, Italian MIBACT Alessandro Bianchi, said that "cultural heritage has become an important macroeconomic asset for governments that need to be valued as a country's productive activity."
During the presentation, Ambassador Augusto Massari stressed that "Italy does not simply want to "offer pre-packaged solutions to Azerbaijan, but rather to share a working method with Azerbaijani friends, so that by the profound Italian experience they can find suitable tools to enhance the 'Huge cultural heritage of the country, starting from Caucasian Albania to the present day".
"Projects like Twinning in the field of culture - added Ambassador Augusto Massari - are crucial to stimulate new regulatory tools and to find investments in the cultural field over a period in which public funds diminish but the demand for culture increases: culture is not something that only belongs to privileged categories, but to everyone for culture is the commitment of a person with his life, everyday".