Culture and Education

In May 1997, Estonia and Italy signed a culture, education, science and technology related agreement that came into force in June 2002. This is a general framework agreement meant to develop and put into practice activities that will help to improve mutually understanding of each other’s cultural heritage while fostering cultural, education, science and technology related co-operation between the two countries.

Within the framework of the same agreement, Estonian and Italian representatives signed a four-year co-operation programme for the years 2004-2008 to bring Italian scholars, students and cultural figures to Estonia and facilitated the culture, education, science and technology-related co-operation. This programme supported the translation of literature and co-operation between library, archive and heritage conservation workers. Both countries support the co-operation of culture and art institutions by offering research scholarships for research, language and literature studies and cultural research.

In Estonia, Italian philology is taught at Tallinn University, and Italian as a secondary subject at the University of Tartu or at various language schools.

Thanks to the scholarships of the Italian Foreign Ministry and activities of the Italian Embassy in Tallinn, a great number of Estonian students and graduate students have been able to study in Italy.

The Dante Alighieri Society (DAS) in Estonia was re-established in 1999. The society’s members include individuals from different fields across Estonia who are interested in the Italian language and culture. The society organizes language and cooking lessons as well as film nights and literary lectures.

Cultural events 2016

Cultural cooperation between the Italian Association of Estonia and the Italian embassy is constant and fruitful. The leaders of the association, Ülle Toode and Gianni Glinni, were awarded the citizen diplomacy diplomas of the Estonian Foreign Ministry in 2016 upon the suggestion of the embassy.

The Terre del Nord Nordic Countries Music Festival was held for the 3rd time from Feb 21 to Feb 28, 2016 in Turin. The festival is centered around introducing Nordic music, exhibitions and workshops; Estonian musicians were among the participants.

In cooperation with the Georgian Embassy to the Holy See, the Estonian-Georgian film “Tangerines” premiered in Rome to an audience of around one hundred. The film reached cinemas in May.

In April the Milan design week was held, where Estonia was represented by 15 designers with 2 exhibitions, the Estonian Design House with its new collection and the Estonian Association of Designers with their project “Human Cities”.

On May 27 at the 15. International Venice Architecture Biennale the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian joint exhibition, “The Baltic Pavilion”, was opened. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar.

The most significant Estonian culture event in the second half of the year was the presenting of the Italian edition of Lennart Meri’s “Silverwhite” in Rome on Sep 22 as par tof the IX Travel Literature Festival.

Previous events:  

  • 31.01-12.02.2015 exhibition of the golden age of Estonian art, “Nordic Colours”, part of Enn Kunila’s collection, and the introduction of the EXPO pavilion in the Vittoriano museum in Rome
  • Bologna book fair 30.03-02.04.2015 –  two Estonian children’s books were selected as the 100 best books published in the world in 2014
  • Bologna animation festival Future Film Festival 5.05-10.05.2015 –  Priit and Olga Pärn took part in the 17th animation film festival with their program “Focus on Estonia”.
  • As the result of cooperation between the Estonian Association of Designers and the British PR organization Designersblock, many Estonian designers participated in the Milan design week in April 2015.
  • At the 56th Venice Art Biennale in 2015 Jaanus Samma/Eugenio Viola participated with their project “NSFW. The Story of the Chairman”.
  • In February 2014, Anatali Strakhov’s exhibition was opened in Bari and in April Tiina Ojaste’s personal exhibition “Pearls of Estonia” in Rome.
  • In June 2014, Arne Maasik’s personal exhibition “Given space” was displayed at the Vittoriano complex in Rome.
  • Also in June 2014, Nikolai Kormashov’s exhibition “Setumaa” was open in Matera, Southern Italy, and in the former monastery of San Giovanni Jaan Pärn’s jewellery exhibition “Amber Chamber II” along with Vilve Unt’s clothes sets based on ethnographical studies and decorated with Kär Summatavet’s jewellery were open for visitors.
  • In December 2015, the pianist Mihkel Poll played in Rome at the finale of the music festival Nuova Consonanza with the programme “Portrait Estonia”. The finale concert was preceded by a meeting with the composer Toivo Tulev, who taught a composition seminar as part of the festival.