Chile will be the first south American country chosen as the focus for the special yearly mutual exchanges of relevant cultural events throughout 2013.
3.4.6 Other relevant issues
Since the 2000s, the latest trend in bilateral cultural cooperation has been the new bias towards organising, in selected countries considered of strategic relevance, block buster cultural events mostly concentrated in the time-span of a year.
The first of these yearly events has been Italia-Giappone (2001), followed by Italia-Russia (2004-2005), and by Italia in Cina (2006). These "years" host a whole range of cultural activities – from block buster exhibitions, to touring of major theatre companies and opera houses, from film festivals to scientific conferences and seminars – which are aimed at giving the widest possible representation of the highlights of Italian cultural and artistic life, whereas at the same time, or immediately after, reciprocal cultural and artistic representation is made to the Italian public by the partner countries. Besides the exchanges of exhibitions and events, artistic co-productions also take place. Given the limited financial resources of the DG's budget, other ministries and the regions, along with Savings Banks Foundations and corporate sponsors (ENEL, ENI, FIAT, Ferrari, etc...) are contributing to the related costs.
More recently, Russia and China have been the favourite target of international cultural exchanges and cooperation. 2011 was the "Year of Italian and Russian Culture", with 4 million EUR allocated by our government for supporting a lively interchange, at the highest level, of art exhibitions (Deineka, famous representative of "Russian Realism", in Rome, "From the icons to Malevitch" in Florence, Raffaello and Caravaggio at the Pushkin, Antonello da Messina at Tetryakov) as well as musical and theatrical events: Fomenko's Theatrical Laboratory in Rome, La Scala's Ballet Company at the Bolshoy).
Closer cultural cooperation with China has been one of the most important recent priorities for Italy. The Ministry for Heritage has been a pioneer in establishing fruitful collaboration with China for the installation of the new Xian Museum, the restoration of parts of the Great Wall, of the Sublime Harmony Pavilion of the Prohibited City, etc. Further progress has been recently accomplished, with the signature in Rome, at the end of 2010, of a special partnership agreement between China and Italy for the Enhancement of the Cultural Heritage, also with a view to pursuing advanced common research and pilot projects in the field of digital cataloguing and the application of satellite technologies for archaeological projects. In the framework of this special partnership, a permanent space will be offered to Italy within the Chinese National Museum (to be reopened in 2012) in Tienanmen Square for periodic exhibitions of Italian art and heritage collections, whereas a similar permanent space will be offered to China in the Museum of Palazzo Venezia in Rome. The first act of this agreement has been the organisation in 2010 in Beijing, of an exhibition-event - subsequently transferred to Rome – celebrating through precious ancient artefacts "The Eagle and the Dragon: the Two Empires": that is, the Chin and Han empires in China, and the simultaneous Roman Empire in Italy.
The next country which has been chosen for such yearly mutual exchanges of relevant cultural events (in 2013) will be, for the first time, a Latin America country: Chile.