Sat, Jan 26, 2008 - Page 3 News List

De facto embassy in Italy focuses on culture with move

SHOWING OFF The new building for the nation's representative office is complete with exhibition halls to share a variety of Taiwanese creative arts

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, ROME

Taiwan's representative office in Italy moved to a new building on Wednesday as part of efforts to promote the nation abroad.

The new office, which will also function as a cultural center, is housed in a three-story building located in Bari City, where a number of other foreign embassies are also situated.

Cheng Shin (鄭欣), Taiwan's representative to Italy, said relocating the de facto embassy was part of efforts to make use of the country's representative offices around the world as facilities to promote awareness and understanding of Taiwan, as well as cultural exchanges.

"It is part of the government's efforts to expand cultural diplomacy and enhance exchanges in the fields of culture and environmental protection," he said.

More than 100 people, including Italian parliamentarians, officials, foreign ambassadors and diplomats attended the inauguration ceremony.

Along with the ceremony, a photo exhibition titled "Enchanting Taiwan" and flower arrangements created by Taiwanese floral artists were displayed in the office's exhibition halls.

Cheng said he hoped that such exhibits would boost cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Italy and that the new exhibition halls would not only promote Taiwanese culture, but also serve as a "home" for Taiwanese expatriates.

Gustavo Selva, chairman of the Italy-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, said that cultural exchanges could help cement bilateral friendship and that the establishment of an exhibition space at the representative office would promote interest in each other's cultures.

Selva also praised Taiwan's democratic development, which he said Chinese authorities should emulate.

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