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Tunisia inaugurates mega-centre for culture and arts

Tunisia inaugurates mega-centre for culture and arts

A new arts complex in Tunis is set to restore Tunisia’s place as a leading cultural player in North Africa and the Arab world.

TUNIS - A new arts complex in Tunis is set to restore Tunisia’s place as a leading cultural player in North Africa and the Arab world, Tunisian Culture Minister Mohamed Zine el-Abidine said.

Named “the City of Culture,” the 9-hectare facility includes numerous art venues and cultural spaces, including state-of-the-art theatres, museums, cinemas and art galleries.

“Every Tunisian should be proud of this project,” said Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi at the March 21 opening ceremony. “Culture is the main tool with which we will fight terrorism. Tunisians have to dream and have confidence in themselves.”

Zine el-Abidine, in an interview with The Arab Weekly, said the project aimed to promote the values of culture and free expression enshrined in the constitution.

“We are trying to reconcile and combine two fundamental concepts of cultural policies: citizens’ rights to culture and the principle of cultural democratisation,” Zine el-Abidine said. “They are two principles that are not always easy to fit together.”

Zine el-Abidine, who holds three doctorates from Paris’s Pantheon-Sorbonne University and previously served as the director of the Higher Institutes of Music of Tunis and Sousse and the director of the 2016 International Carthage Festival, said part of the centre’s aim was to provide cultural opportunities to all citizens.

To do so, the City of Culture and its branches are creating programmes with civil society groups to empower artists to develop and showcase their talent, he said.

“Through our policies, we are trying to express the idea that culture is the confirmation of artists’ rights to express their singularities and uniqueness through what they produce,” he said.

Read 27 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 12:33
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