Culture’s Role as Tool of Soft Power and Economic Development Discussed at Civilizations Forum

The many ways in which countries can cooperate in promoting cultural heritage and intercultural dialog were the main topics discussed by the foreign ministers of Greece, Italy, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico in the “Ancient Civilizations” conference was held in Athens on Monday.

The two-day event, an initiative of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias who organized it together with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, gathered in Zappeion Mansion alongside ministers and academics from 10 countries with great cultural history.

The first conference on Monday was titled “Culture – a smart tool of soft diplomatic power” and was coordinated by Dr. Platonas Mavromoustakos, Professor of Theater Studies at the University of Athens. The second was titled “Culture, a factor of economic development” and was coordinated by Dr. Nikos Leandros, Professor of Economics, specializing in the Economics of Media, at Panteion University.

Well-known Greek and foreign archaeologists, professors and museum directors from these ten countries spoke about the proposed actions and successful examples of culture management. Dr. Mavromoustakos spoke of the creation of an unofficial academic network as part of the forum, where academics, researchers and specialists will be able to acquaint themselves better with each other’s civilizations and their impact on contemporary times. As an example he presented the European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Greek Drama, a circle of courses with the participation of 25 countries which links cooperation in research with the use of ancient theaters. He also mentioned the great potential offered by the Massive Open Online Courses (free online courses) both in highlighting cultural heritage and in extending university and other types of cooperation.
(source: ana-mpa)