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Culture Minister emphasizes positive role of digital technology at G20 Meeting

Culture Minister Hwang Hee delivers a speech at the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting on Friday. (Yonhap)
Culture Minister Hwang Hee delivers a speech at the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting on Friday. (Yonhap)
Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Hwang Hee attended the first official G20 Culture Ministers‘ Meeting in Rome, Italy, the Ministry announced Sunday.

During a two-day event held under the Italian G20 presidency, a total of 40 cultural delegations, including ministers from G20 countries and representatives of international organizations gathered at the Colosseum.

The G20 Culture Ministers’ Meetings had been held in the form of a special meeting in the past, but was promoted to a formal meeting for the first time this year.

Participating countries discussed five culture-related agendas that are drawing attention from the international community: cultural heritage, climate crisis, digital transformation, education, and “culture engines.”

Hwang delivered a speech on the topic of “Digital Transformation and New Technologies in the Cultural Sector,” after receiving an official proposal from the organizers of the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting, recognizing South Korea’s comparative strengths in the sector.

“The social values and roles of culture are expanding amid the global health crisis,” Hwang said in his speech at the meeting. “Digital technology will act an opportunity to heal weary minds throughout the globe, and bring growth by protecting diversity through cooperation and solidarity.”

In his speech, Hwang introduced Korea‘s leading digital cultural policies, including the “Digital New Deal” plan in the field of culture and arts.

The Minister also stressed the need for joint efforts in the digital transformation era to overcome inequality and move toward a more inclusive society.

During the meeting, Hwang met with Russia’s Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova to discuss ways to strengthen cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Hwang expressed how the two countries have gained a sense of comfort during the pandemic, by exchanging and celebrating each other’s culture through the Korea-Russia Year of Cultural Exchanges. 
Culture Minister Hwang Hee meets with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at Barberini Palace, Italy, on Friday. (Yonhap)
Culture Minister Hwang Hee meets with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay at Barberini Palace, Italy, on Friday. (Yonhap)
The minister met UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, to discuss UNESCO World Heritage and Korea-UNESCO cooperation.

Hwang thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for adopting by consensus a decision expressing strong regret on the non-fulfilment of the follow-up to the inscription of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list, and requesting its full implementation. In addition, the minister extended gratitude for the granting of world heritage status to Korea’s tidal flats, “gaetbeol,” on July 23.

Hwang and Azoulay shared the need for mutual cooperation, including protection of inter-Korean cultural heritage and participation of artists to raise younger generation’s interest in culture.

As part of efforts to prepare for Korea’s traditional paper “hanji,” to become listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, Hwang met with Mario Touretta, director-general of education, research and cultural institutes at Italy’s Ministry of Culture, laying the foundation for mutual ties.
Culture Minister Hwang Hee visits Archbishop You Heung-sik on Saturday at a restaurant in Rome, Italy. (Yonhap)
Culture Minister Hwang Hee visits Archbishop You Heung-sik on Saturday at a restaurant in Rome, Italy. (Yonhap)
The minister ended his visit to Italy by meeting Archbishop You Heung-sik, who will start serving as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican from Monday, to congratulate him on his new appointment.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)
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