Orizzontiliani, multifaceted Italy on show in Istanbul

01 February, 18:59

The 'Lagoon monster', dynamic sculpture in Murano glass The 'Lagoon monster', dynamic sculpture in Murano glass

(ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, FEBRUARY 1 - From jazz percussion to Venetian carnival masks, from a legendary ''monster'' of the lagoon to volleyball, as well as design, fashion and cuisine: the latter are only a few of the highlights of the programme of initiatives with which Italy will this year be underscoring its strategic political-economic relations with Turkey.

The line up is highly variegated programme which - as noted by the Italian ambassador Gianpaolo Scarante in presenting the initiatives today in Istanbul - constitutes almost the ''backbone'' of the existing ''political agreement'' between the two countries.

The programme, in its second edition and with the name ''Orizzontitaliani'', is presenting 38 events this year, announced Scarante in speaking about the past edition, which was ''successful with the public and which portrayed ''a modern, varied'' and ''non-conventional'' image of Italy in Turkey. This year discussion will once again turn to politics, with ''round tables on the international situation with particular focus on Turkey and the region, which has many points of interest'', as well as the economy, and the ''wide range of culture'', especially as concerns art, medicine and architecture. One of the sections will be conferences of Turkish and Italian experts on ''very topical'' scientific issues, as was done last year, establishing ''contacts'' which have proved ''productive''. Going through the programme, the ambassador noted ''in particular'' the ''extremely high level presence of the Italian'' percussionists band Odwalla on February 16 at Ankara's International Jazz Festival, an event which was presented last month at the residence of the ambassador in the Turkish capital.

As was seen last year, underscored Scarante, around February 18 there will be initiatives in Istanbul in honour of the Carnival of Venice, from where actors with ''extraordinary, extremely beautiful'' costumes will be coming, the town council official ones which receive so many admiring glances during the traditional procession. This month the procession will once again take place on Caddesi Istiklal, the main pedestrian street of the city on the Bosporus. In Palazzo Venezia, the historical seat of the Italian embassy in Istanbul, where the press conference was held, there will also be a show of paintings on Venetian masks and a ''Carnival grand ball'' with a ''commedia dell'arte'' to mime a series of traditional masks.

The ''most original'' initiative, in the ambassador's words, will be in one of Istanbul's cisterns in March of Venice's ''monster of the lagoon: several metres long and made by young artists, the ''monster'' is a ''dynamic sculpture'' in Murano glass which reproduces a ''marine creature'' with the body ''of a serpent and the head of a horse''. According to the ''legend'' told by the historian and writer Alberto Toso Fei ,the monster ''lives in a lair under the tip of Venice's Dogana'', and comes out only ''during especially dark evenings''. With ''skin'' made of glass tiles, a steel structure ''reminiscent of dinosaurs'', a ''beating heart'', ''breath'' and ''a voice'', the creature is said to be ''particularly dramatic''.

Another theme of Orizzontitaliani 2012 will be sport, taking advantage of the presence in Istanbul of the world volleyball champion Eleonora Lo Bianco, who plays on the Galatasaray team.

''We will try to speak about how sport can help young people'', as well as the ''relations'' between Italy and Turkey, countries which ''share many sensibilities'', claims Scarante.

As concerns ''taste, design, and the quality of production'', there will also be a presentation in Palazzo Venezia of ''very well-known Italian labels'', such as ''Ferragamo, Attolini'' and ''such objects as Panerai watches'', Vespas and other ''symbols of the past, present and - we hope - future Italian capacity to interpret the taste'' of the time (the gastronomic aspect of the evening will be entrusted to the chef Danieli from Venezia). (ANSAmed).

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