x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Saadiyat Island to get Italian arts centre

An Italian cultural centre and school are being planned for the capital.

ABU DHABI // An Italian cultural centre and school are being planned for the capital.

"We will provide teachers from Italy," said Gianfranco Conte, the president of the finance committee in the Italian chamber of deputies.

It is not known when the school will open. The cultural centre, Palazzo Italia, is likely to be beside the Louvre and Guggenheim museums on Saadiyat Island.

"The Palazzo Italia will be a cultural centre that will host museum exhibits, art shows, fashion shows and everything Italian," said Mr Conte. "We have so many artefacts and historical pieces in Italy, it would be great to showcase them here in the UAE."

Federica Mogherini, the secretary of the defence committee at the Italian chamber of deputies, described the move as a strategic investment for both countries.

"This will benefit the UAE as it will give it a tourism boost, and will help Italian artists and exhibitors to showcase their talents in the UAE," she said.

Ms Mogherini and Mr Conte were in the UAE last week.

More than 4,000 Italians live in the Emirates, about 80 per cent of them in Dubai, according to the Italian Embassy.

Mr Conte said plans for an Italian school have been in place since Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister, visited Italy in January.

amustafa@thenational.ae