Expo 2020 Dubai: GCC’s only Italian Cultural Institute to host events in 3 emirates

Abu Dhabi - The institute is the cultural section of the Embassy of Italy and aims to connect Italian and Arab cultures


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 7 Oct 2021, 9:58 AM

Last updated: Thu 7 Oct 2021, 1:34 PM

The Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi, which is the first and only Italian Cultural Institute in the GCC, will celebrate the Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee with activities held in three emirates of the country.

Speaking about the massive cultural events, which are supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, institute director Ida Zilio-Grandi said: “We have planned many things with our Italian Pavilion, especially classical music concerts by major artists.

"We will have huge orchestras, jazz musicians and 100 cellos, and it will be big. We will have some events in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah also. We have planned events on different dates. This is our project and idea."

The institute was officially opened earlier this year by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth. However, the institute has been thrown open to the general public from Thursday with a ‘Plessi’s Digital Wall’ exhibition by Fabrizio Plessi, the first Italian to experiment with video art.

“This is our grand opening to the public. The exhibition will be here for twomonths,” Zilio-Grandi said.

The institute is the cultural section of the Embassy of Italy and aims to connect Italian and Arab cultures.

The institute, she said, opens a culture of sharing with hopes to bring the people of multicultural, multi-ethnic and multilingual societies closer.

“I want to find Italian-Arab connections. When cultures mix, it is then that something new is born. When you stay alone in your home, without mixing with others and not having connections, you die, well, culture dies. So, I want to propose collaborations, cooperation with Arabs and an incredibly diverse population here. That’s my mission,” said Zilio-Grandi, who used to teach Islamic Studies at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.


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Next year, apart from several activities at the Expo, the institute will be hosting a major exhibition on Islamic art from Italy. The institute is located in Al Bateen area and features a multi-functional space.

Main cultural events at Expo 2020 Dubai

>> Il Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – A concert by the great Symphony Orchestra

>> Gloria Campaner in Concert

>> Music is Dangerous by Academy Award winner Nicola Piovani

>> Riccardo Muti directs Nabucco Concert

>> Gala di Roberto Bolle and Friends (Embassy of Italy)

>> Il Giro del Mondo in 80 minuti by di Piazza Vittorio Orchestra

>> At the Opera by Piazza Vittorio Orchestra

>> Morabeza by Tosca with special guest Furat Qaddouri

>> 100 Cellos Live.

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