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09 / 09 / 2004
Alfonso Martinell: By nullifying culture, the other ceases to exist

The speech given by Martinell--director general of Spain’s Cultural and Scientific Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs—on the first day of the sessions of Dialogue “Promoting living together and security in the information society” portrayed cultural spaces as spaced of security.

Alfonso Martinell, director general of Spain’s Cultural and Scientific Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, this morning, that “the wars of today are also an attack against culture, because by nullifying culture, the other ceases to exist.” During his speech, he stated that poverty and culture cannot be calculated in the same equation because “when you’ve got one artist next to another, it does matter what they earn but what their art is like.”

In Martinell’s opinion, “culture is a place for cultivating trust, because people are in contact with one another at concerts--they are unified, they see that someone who is culturally different can have the same taste.” Martinell stressed that, ”culture projects an image that the streets and squares are for all—streets are the expression of collectivity.”

Martinell also stressed on the importance of dialogue between spokespeople of different cultures, because, “that which is local, as understood as localism, is a closed concept and you cannot defend your identity if you do not respect the other.” He discussed the possibility of building a museum about immigration “to remind us all about our role in history.”

Martinell stated that Spain’s Cultural and Scientific Relations are currently working on a cultural project to help development in order to intervene in safeguarding heritage and cultural wealth in the event of an emergency.

The Dialogue “Promoting living together and security in the information society” started this morning and will continue until September 11.