The projects of professional international cooperation in the arts and culture in which Italy has engaged are countless, and a comprehensive picture cannot be drawn, given the fragmentation of the actors involved. This chapter will focus only on a few of the many significant international projects in the area of cultural goods and the performing arts.
Among the many programmes dealing with cultural goods, the Michael-Multilingual Inventory for Heritage in Europe should be singled out. Started in 2004by the Italian Ministry for Heritage in partnership with the French Ministry for Culture and the UK Museums, Libraries and Archives Council – with the support by the EU Commission in the framework of the Programme e-TEN (Electronic Trans-European Networks) – the project is presently extended to 19 European countries. Its aim is the creation of a Trans-European Portal for on-line multilingual access to the digital cultural contents through the adoption of common standards. Universities and the regions are involved in the project as well. Another note-worthy European cultural portal giving access to 30 million pieces of data provided for by cultural institutions – 1.3 million by Italian institutions – is Europeana.
As for cooperation in the performing arts sector, two European projects previously carried out by ETI (the recently abolished national theatre institute: see chapter 4.2.3) and presently inherited by MIBACT – are also worth mentioning:
- Ecole des Maitres – an innovative multi-annual educational and artistic project started in the 1990s – is aimed at connecting young chosen professional actors from Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain… with the most innovative international stage masters (Peter Stein, Lev Dodin, Lassalle, Nekrosius, Dario Fo, …). Based on multilingual workshops travelling in different countries ending up with final public performances – this long-term project has been supported by ministries for culture of various countries, and has often benefited from the financial support of the EU.
- SPACE: a more recent international programme started with other experienced European institutions (the French ONDA, TIN from the Netherlands, the British Council, Pro Helvetia …) is a European platform aimed at fostering information, research and data collection on the performing arts, through the online programme “Travelogue”. It also develops training programmes in arts management, and fosters artists’ mobility and capacity building.