In May 1997, Estonia and Italy signed a culture, education, science and technology related agreement that came into force in January 2000. This is a general framework agreement meant to develop and put into practice activities that will help to improve mutually understanding of each other’s cultural heritage while fostering cultural, education, science and technology related co-operation between the two countries.
Within the framework of the same agreement, Estonia and Italy agreed on several executive programmes to bring Italian scholars, students and cultural figures to Estonia and to facilitate the culture, education, science and technology related co-operation. These programmes support also the translation of literature, co-operation between library, archive and heritage conservation workers, helping them to participate more actively in cultural events. Both countries support the co-operation of culture and art institutions by offering research scholarships for research, language and literature studies and cultural research. The executive Program for the years 2012-2016 is now under negotiation.
In Estonia, one can study Italian in several academic institutions such as the University of Tallinn. Italian can be taken as a secondary subject at the University of Tartu or at various language schools. An official lecturer of Italian language and culture, Professor Margherita Romano, is currently appointed by the Italian government at the University of Tartu.
Thanks to the scholarships of the Italian government and the activity of the Italian Embassy in Tallinn, a great number of Estonian students and graduate students have been able to study in Italy.
Recent cultural events organized by the Embassy of Italy
In March 2013 the Embassy of Italy organized a ceremony to celebrate the presence from 1937 to 1938 at Tartu University, as lecturer of Italian, of the reknown Italian journalist and historian Indro Montanelli. On that occasion a commemorative plate was placed at the University’s Department of Germanic and Romance Languages.
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi in 2013 many celebrative events took place in Estonia. The Italian Embassy supported the “Verdissimo!” Festival organized by the Estonian National Opera from 25 to 29 September and donated a series of posters of historic covers of Verdi’s operatic scores which were displayed at the Opera House during the Festival. Ambassador Clemente and Maestro Arne Mikk gave a lecture on Verdi’s less know operas at the theatre’s Winter Garden and another one on the relations between Verdi and the city on Milan at the KuMu Museum of Tallinn. On the occasion of a performance of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu, Ambassador Clemente gave a lecture at the same theatre. The Embassy of Italy, together with the Estonia National Opera and the Academy of Music and Theatre of Tallinn, organized the student contest “Verdissimo Junior” in order to foster a better knowledge of Italian opera among the young in Estonia.
Always in the context of Giuseppe Verdi’s celebrations, the Embassy organized, starting from February 2014 the screening, free of charge, of all Verdi’s operas, from “Oberto” to Falstaff” on BluRay discs at one of the most prestigious art movies theatre in Tallinn.
On the first of July 2014 the Embassy organized at the Estonia Concert Hall an Italian Opera concert in celebration of the beginning of the Italian EU Presidency. The concert, attended among other Estonian authorities by Prime Minister Roivas, Speaker Nestor and five Ministers of the cabinet, was performed by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anu Tali and by five singers from Italy selected in co-operation with Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo, Bergamo Donizetti Festival and Fondazione Donizetti.
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