The Italian Cultural Institute of New York finally Gets a New Director

R. C. (March 31, 2015)
Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, has just appointed the new directors of three major Italian Cultural Institutes: in London, Moscow, and New York. The director’s office at 686 Park Avenue will now be occupied by Giorgio Van Straten, award-winning author and manager of arts associations of the caliber of the Venice Biennale and of Agis (the Italian association for the performing arts), among others.

Yesterday, Monday March 30th, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, released a press conference in which the names of the new directors of three major Italian Cultural Institutes abroad were announced.

These appointments were all based on the work of a commission that included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities and Tourism, and the Ministry for Education, the Universities and Research.

Marco Delogu and Olga Strada were respectively assigned to the cultural institutes in London and in Mosow, while the New York director’s office was appointed to Giorgio Van Straten, a writer whose works, such as the novel “Il mio nome a memoria” (My Name, A Living Memory), have won awards like the Viareggio Prize.

Van Straten was also member of the boards of directors of the Venice Biennale and the RAI broadcasting corporation, as well as the chair Chair of the Azienda Speciale PalaExpo in Rome, and Chair of Agis (the Italian association for the performing arts).

The position of director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York had previously been vacant since February 2014, and the role was temporarily latched onto that of the Consul General. The appointment of a new director is therefore a promising signal and very exciting to all New York-based lovers of Italian culture.

Van Straten’s past roles in the management of these important Italian arts organizations give very good reason to believe that he will be a great addition to the vibrant and very active “Sistema Italia”, which includes other institutions like The General Consulate, the ICE (Italian Trade Commision), the Italian Chamber of Commerce, the Italian Government Tourist Board, the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Calandra Italian American Institute, in New York.