Rīga|2014 Travelling Exhibitions on View in Rome
The ceremonial opening of the exhibitions, devoted to Riga as European Capital of Culture 2014, took place in the Museo della Civilta Romana on May 7. The exhibitions were unveiled by the Latvian Ambassador to Italy, Elita Kuzma, along with officials of the Rome City Council and Programme Director of Foundation Rīga|2014, Aiva Rozenberga.
In cooperation with Foundation Rīga|2014 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, the exhibition (titled „Visita Riga a Roma! Una mostra fotografica e interattiva su Riga, Capitale Europea della Cultura 2014” in Italian) is a combination of the Rīga 24h bicycle exhibition by young Latvian designers, and the Riga from Above exhibition, developed by architect Jānis Dripe and featuring photographs by Juris Kalniņš. The show has been included within Rome’s official celebrations of Europe Day 2012.
The opening in Rome was an international ‘premiere’ for both exhibits. After the stop in Rome, the exhibitions will travel around various European cities. The opening in the Museum of Roman Civilisation has a symbolic meaning, A. Rozenberga explained: “Here, any visitor can see a model of Ancient Rome from above, and now they also have the chance to view Riga from above in photographs until the end of May.” The exhibitions act as an invitation and temptation for residents of Rome to visit Riga. Within the bicycle design exhibit, museum visitors can get to know Rigans telling stories about their favourite places in the city, and inviting them for a bike ride. “Rome has few bicyclists, while Riga, with its constantly expanding bicycle culture can offer Romans a wonderful adventure,” A. Rozenberga said.
A wish was put into words at the exhibition opening – that these exhibitions, with a view “from above”, may symbolically give everyone a chance to think about the situation in Europe “from above”, giving thought to Europe’s most important aims, which bring residents, cities, and countries together.
A tourism seminar was held prior to the opening of the exhibition with the goal of encouraging cooperation between travel operators and increasing the flow of Italian tourists to Riga. Guna Caune, Public Relations Project Manager of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau spoke to the attending industry professionals, journalists and representatives of the city of Rome and foreign embassies, on behalf of LiveRiga and the Latvian Tourism Development Agency.
A. Rozenberga gave an introduction to the 14 cornerstones of Riga’s 2014 programme. Building on the experience of other European Capitals of Culture, tourism operators are introduced to the programme’s central events two years prior to the event itself, giving them a chance to successfully plan travel offers for potential European Capital of Culture visitors.
Ambassador Elita Kuzma was pleased to note that the number of Italian tourists in Latvia has seen a significant increase in the past few years. The ambassador emphasised that international cooperation between Latvia and Italy has great potential for growth, and there is an interest in developing joint projects in a number of sectors, including culture, education and medicine. The forthcoming Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2014, and Latvia’s Presidency in the first half of 2015, as well as Riga’s status as European Capital of Culture 2014 all provide great opportunities for developing cooperation, the Latvian Ambassador stressed.
Read the Riga stories from the Rīga 24h bicycle exhibition at www.storyofriga.lv.