At the end of a long day of work, over 200 MEPs, from both the European Parliament and the European Commission, representatives of the European cultural institutions and journalists, participated in an event called ‘Arad, European city of cultural diversity – an expression of interethnic coexistence’.
This was the first major public action to promote Arad City’s application for the title of ‘European cultural capital of 2021’, and it was organized by MEP Iosif Matula together with the Arad City Mayor, Gheorghe Falca.
During the event, which lasted nearly three hours, the participants had the chance to learn a great number of things about Arad, Arad’s traditions and culture. They also had the opportunity to admire a photographic exhibition that included 50 photographs of the City on the Mures River and 20 paintings belonging to three painters living in Arad.
There were two documentaries about Arad presented at the event, the first one about the history and culture of the City in European context, and the second one referring to traditions, to the life and culture of the many ethnic groups that have coexisted harmoniously in this area, leaving their mark on its history and its present and providing a multiethnic and multicultural character to the City.
At the end of the event held at the European Parliament participants also had the chance to taste traditional gastronomic products from Arad and also wines from the Arad Wineries, especially renowned for the red wines produced here, including the famous ‘Cadarca de Minis’, but also wines from the new collection called ‘Stonewine’, the culinary event being prepared by the representatives of a restaurant in Arad.
The opening of the event belonged to Dr. Peter Hugel, the manager of the Arad Museum, who welcomed all those present, among whom Stefan Tinca and Marius Lazurca, Romania’s ambassadors to Brussels and, respectively, to Chisinau, Romanian MEPs Theodor Stolojan, Cristian Preda, Sebastian Bodu, Iuliu Winkler and Csaba Sogor, and the Senator (from Arad) Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, former Romanian Prime Minister.
A delegation from the Belgian town Heist op den Berg, a city twinned with Arad since November 2011, also attended the event.
MEP Iosif Matula gave next a brief presentation of Arad, in terms of culture and history, while also presenting the motifs that led to the Arad inhabitants wishing for their City to bear the title of ‘European cultural capital of 2021’.
‘Arad has always been a model of an European city, as a micro-space of ethnic diversity, a true reflection of the principle of ‘Unity in Diversity’. For hundreds of years, 9 ethnic communities – Germans, Hungarians, Serbs, Roma, Slovaks, Czechs, Bulgarians, Ukrainians Hebrew – live in peace in this area, together with Romanians, each ethnic group bringing its contribution to the development of this region. (…). Arad was and it still is on the map of Europe, a gateway between East and West, which materializes today through Corridor No. 4 Pan-European, which links Central and Western Europe to the Eastern side of the continent,’ said among other things Iosif Matula.
In his turn, George Falca, Mayor of Arad, wanted to highlighted that Arad is a place that can be called, without fear of mistaking, European.
‘I am proud of the Arad City and I believe that, through everything we do, Arad is a living proof of our affiliation to cultural and historical Europe,’ Gheorghe Falca said among other things.