Seoul 15/09/2009

Greetings by President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano at the exhibition "Doppio sogno dell'arte. 2RC tra artista e artefice"

It was especially important to me to pay a visit to the Seoul National University, the most important and prestigious university in Korea, since I am well aware of the central role played by education and culture in the Korean tradition and how these are two founding values for the present model to social and economical development.

I am deeply impressed by this state-of-the-art campus which symbolizes the Korean attitude aiming to join modernity and tradition. This beautiful museum, designed by an European architect, is also a tangible evidence of the spirit of this university open to dialogue and interaction with the best expressions of the world culture. This is the same spirit inspiring the exhibition opening today, curated by Prof. Achille Bonito Oliva.

The exhibition "Double dream of art" illustrates the long lasting cooperation between the print shop of Valter and Eleonora Rossi, and relevant Italian and international artists for more than fifty years, in which they were able to create prints and engravings in cooperation with other painters and sculptors.

"Double dream of art" also introduces us to the main art currents of the second half of the XXth century, thus giving the Korean public the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Italian contemporary culture.

The presentation of contemporary Italy is one of the main goals in cultural promotion that the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul have achieved in the course of time. They have committed themselves to presenting every possible expression of our cultural heritage which is made of a living and ongoing tradition linking past, present and future in an indelible way. As a matter of fact culture is, at the same time, language and content of every social activity: therefore introducing Italian culture means to present the so called Italian System as a whole.

The Italian lifestyle, some products of Italian creativity and technology, the industrial design which virtually affects every aspect of our daily life, Italian architecture, some very successful flexible models of industrial production, are highly appreciated in Korea, as well as in the entire world. Therefore, many of the events organized by the Italian Institutions in Korea strive for showing the philosophy of living and producing which stands behind this success. A philosophy which is inspired by concepts like the unity of usefulness and beauty, already present in our culture since the Renaissance, or aiming to show, like this exhibition, that art and craftsmanship are just expressions of different intensity of the same creative conception.

Finally I would like to underline that "Double dream of art" is also the result of the cooperation of the Italian Embassy and Italian Cultural Institute with the Italian Trade Commission, thus confirming the priority we give to the Italian productive and cultural system as a whole and the promotion of Italian products and the safeguard of its quality and trademark.