28/12/2012 Minister Deenihan to meet with China Minister for Culture in Beijing
Friday, December 28th – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is today commencing a three-day visit to China to hold a number of engagements of significant cultural and business importance.
Central to this visit will be official talks with the China Minister for Culture, Cai Wu. A Cultural Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is in place between Ireland and China and this meeting will discuss the progress made in advancing the cultural links, and exploiting the cultural opportunities, between both countries. In addition, Minister Deenihan will raise with his counterpart the possibility of China establishing a cultural centre in Ireland.
Minister Deenihan will also discuss business and cultural links and the upcoming Ireland Presidency of the European Council with his counterpart. Minister Deenihan will assume the Chair of the EU Council of Culture Ministers on January 1st, 2013.
As part of this visit, Minister Deenihan will also present the China Minister for Culture with a gift of an artist residency at Cill Rialaig for a prominent Chinese artist.
Minister Deenihan will also meet with the Vice President of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Vice President of the Palace Museum, the Director General of the National Library of China, visit the Beijing Dublin International College, officiate at an internship presentation at the Embassy of Ireland, and host an event for members of the cultural and business community – supported by the IDA – to coincide with the first Beijing performance in a new China tour of Riverdance.
Minister Deenihan commented:
“One of Ireland’s strongest calling cards internationally is our culture. Our music, dance, art and literature are known the world over. China represents a huge market, and great opportunity, for Irish business and for Irish artists, creative industries, and culture. I think our cultural offering, and the interest in it, can be used to help leverage more interest in Ireland as a location for business and investment.
“Our culture can also play a key role in the repair of Ireland’s reputation overseas. Ireland has been subject to much negative comment on the world stage from 2008 – we are repairing this, bit by bit, and the interest in Irish culture in China must be leveraged towards this aim also.
“During the 2011 official visit to Ireland, a performance of Riverdance was specially arranged for Xi Jinping. I know of the considerable interest in Riverdance that exists in China, and I will host an event with influential cultural and business contacts to coincide with the start of a new performance tour of China. I hope this visit will result in the deepening of cultural exchange and related business between Ireland and China over the course of the coming years.”