President Mattarella speaks out against condemnations of Russian culture

President Sergio Mattarella, in his speech to present the nominees for the 2022 David di Donatello Awards, openly spoke out against those who condemn Russian culture. Right to be indignant about the war, but Russian culture should not be condemned.

The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, spoke on the issue of boycotts against Russian culture during his speech given as part of the presentation of the candidates for the “David di Donatello” Awards for the year 2022. The ceremony, hosted by Pilar Fogliati, was opened by the screening of a video by Rai Cultura, which was followed by speeches by Piera Detassis, President and Artistic Director of the Accademia del Cinema Italiano - Premi David di Donatello, and the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini. After the reading of the nominations for the awards, the ceremony concluded with an address by the President of the Republic.

A thought, meanwhile, to the artistic sector ofUkraine: “Italian cinema today is a protagonist in solidarity with Ukrainian artists, hosted by us.” And then the speech on the theme of culture: “Culture does not stop. Not even in the face of war. Culture unites. It transcends borders - limits it does not contemplate - and is crucial to recreating conditions of peace. A senseless war cannot challenge the spiritual and cultural ties that, over the centuries, have been strongly interwoven in the cultural world of Europe. The wretched choice of the Russian Federation to resort to the brutality of violence and war cannot and must not tear apart those precious ties between the peoples of Europe that culture has helped to build and consolidate. Dutiful indignation and condemnation certainly cannot concern culture, great spirits of the past and their works, which have given so much to the civilization of the whole world. It would be serious and counterproductive for our Italy and our Europe. Tearing European culture apart, would mean pandering to that logic of aggression.”

“Italy and its cinema,” Mattarella then concluded, “are inseparable. Italy needs its cinema and cinema needs Italy.”

On the issue of boycotts of Russian culture, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini had also expressed himself, who on April 11, during the presentation of his book Con la cultura non si mangia? (With culture you can’t eat?), had said that, even with the horror that arrives in our homes, one should not give in to the temptation to “go so far as not to host or represent works by Russian artists.” Thus, the line expressed by our country against attempts to erase Russian culture becomes even clearer.

And yet President Sergio Mattarella himself, only a few days ago, speaking on April 27 before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, hoped for the convening of a conference that could ensure peace similar to the one held in Helsinki in 1975: the conference saw the participation of 35 countries, both from the Western bloc and the Soviet bloc, and led to an agreement, the Declaration of Helsinki, which improved international cooperation and formed the basis for the creation of the OSCE. “To envision an international forum that renews roots to peace, that restores dignity to a framework of security and cooperation, following the example of that Helsinki Conference that led, in 1975, to a Final Act harbinger of positive developments. And of which the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was the child,” Mattarella had said. “It is a matter of strongly affirming the rejection of a policy based on spheres of influence, on weakened rights for some peoples and countries and, instead, proclaiming, in the spirit of Helsinki, equal rights, equality for peoples and for people. According to a new architecture of international relations, in Europe and in the world, shared, inclusive, without prejudicial privileged positions. Security, peace - this is the great lesson that has emerged since World War II - cannot be entrusted to bilateral relations - Moscow versus Kyiv. All the more so if this happens between unequals, between large and smaller states.”

President Mattarella speaks out against condemnations of Russian culture
President Mattarella speaks out against condemnations of Russian culture

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