Incheon 15/09/2009

Greetings by the President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano at the inauguration ceremony of the Triennale Building in Incheon "Milano Design City"

Mr. (Member of Korean Government TBC),
Mr. AHN Sang Soo, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City,
Mr. Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, Cultural Councillor of the City of Milan,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

it is with great pleasure and pride that I congratulate all of you today on the occasion of this inauguration ceremony of one of the biggest cooperation projects between Korea and Italy: the building of "Triennale di Milano", in the heart of Milano Design City Exhibition Centre here in Incheon.

We are all impressed by the new Incheon Free Economic Zone, an initiative which emphasizes once again the dynamism of the Republic of Korea.

I would also like to express my appreciation and satisfaction for the outstanding work carried out by the Mayors of Incheon and Milan, whose vision allowed "Milano Design City" to become reality.

Such close relation between the city of Milan and Incheon could also count on the operational support of a cooperation agreement between Fiera Milano and Fiera Incheon of January 2008, which acted as a basis and a magnifying factor for the project we are inaugurating today.

Likewise the Triennale in Milan, which became a worldwide exhibition centre for European design industry since its establishment in 1923, its twin building in Incheon is designed to be a unique container of diverse exhibitions and activities, where visitors from all over the world will be able to enjoy a glance of Italy through its contemporary trends of design and industry, culture and fairs. The Triennale Building will soon become a hub for design, culture and arts in Asia.

Let me highlight how strong an emotion it is to share with you all the opportunity to admire in Korea outstanding pieces of Italian design, the machines by Leonardo da Vinci and his "Last Supper", in a unique presentation through the most advanced contemporary technology.
We look forward for Fiera Milano S.p.A. and other cultural Institutions of the city to join Milano Design City in Incheon : thus contributing to getting Italy and Korea closer.

Allow me, therefore, to conclude by congratulating both Mayor Moratti, here represented by Councillor Finazzer Flory, and Mayor AHN for their visionary plan. In such a difficult moment for world economy, "Milano Design City" should make us all look at the future with confidence : this joint project is a concrete sign of hope and trust, something that is certainly very much needed in these days. And I am sure that, under the experience and enthusiasm of Incheon Metropolitan City and the City of Milan, Incheon and Milan will further improve their cooperation and achieve full success.