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Georgia and Italy, a bridge in the name of Dante Alighieri

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Georgia and Italy Culture Commissions: a bridge in Dante’s name

Coast of fate for Jason and the Argonauts, a place chosen by Prometheus to set fire to men, a corridor of prehistoric migrations, Georgia represents the extreme edge of European culture: a country in which all the suggestions of the Greek and Roman past, of the ancient medieval kingdoms, the troubled path to independence combine into a unique national culture in the world.

For years, Georgia has been engaged in a process of rapprochement with the European space. In this way, relations with the Italian parliament are fundamental, in particular those concerning reciprocal cultural exchanges. Tbilisi, on the other hand, has long supported initiatives concerning the Italian language in Georgia, an area with respect to which 2021, the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, will certainly not be just any year. In fact, a program of important initiatives is dedicated to the Supreme Poet, capable of evoking – in the land that the contemporary Marco Polo found inhabited by “Christians who hold the law of Greeks” – the enchantment of the verses of the Divine Comedy. A series of lectures, an unprecedented dance show (“Beatrice”), a competition focused on Dante’s studies in the various arts and even the issuance of a special stamp by the Georgian post office, will be the perimeter of initiatives that in September will experience the his pivotal day in the unveiling of a bust of Dante in front of the national parliamentary library. On that day, a Lectura Dantis and a scientific conference entitled “Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy: roots of Europe and world heritage” will take place on the site.

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In a meeting held by videoconference, Eliso Bolkvadze, the chairman of the Culture Committee of the Georgian Parliament, yesterday assured the full support of the institution she leads in all these events. But the collaboration with Georgia is much more: it is in the four Italian archaeological missions present in the country, it is in the student exchanges for higher artistic and musical training (Erasmus +), it is in the appreciation of our restoration professionals and our experts. in cultural tourism, it is in the great exhibition dedicated to Pompeii scheduled in Tbilisi next autumn, it is in the idea that culture is also a way of life.

Georgia is currently engaged in a series of profound reforms affecting the code of culture and the education system. At the same time, Italy discusses in the Culture Committee a series of important measures concerning the reform of higher technical institutes, that of qualifying degrees and that on the recruitment of researchers. Both countries are on the eve of a restart of the cultural sector which is awaited with understandable impatience. Despite the mutual difficulties due to the pandemic, confronting and understanding each other is simple and will be increasingly so. In the post-Covid-19 world, we will be able to transform this cultural bridge into an opportunity for development.

Vittoria Casa (President of the Chamber, Culture, Science and Education Commission)

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