The new director appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gentiloni as head of the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo comes from Ca’ Foscari. Paolo Calvetti, professor of Japanese and director of the Department of Asian and North African Studies, declares: "Among my goals is to attract the attention of the Japanese public towards contemporary 'Italian'.
In a few months, at the end of the bureaucratic path that the appointment must cross to be made official, Calvetti will be appointed to head for two years, with the possibility of renewal, the Tokyo IIC, one of the most important institutions for Italian culture abroad, housed in a building designed by Gae Aulenti, with views of the cherry trees of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
After graduating with honors from L’Orientale University of Naples, Paolo Calvetti has had numerous teaching experiences both in Italy and abroad. In 2009 he came to Ca’ Foscari University as Professor of Japanese Language and Linguistics, and has covered many prestigious roles since then: directing the former School of Asian Studies and Business Administration, is a member of the Academic Senate, after which he became Director of the Department of Asian and North African Studies.
From 2003 to 2007 he was Cultural Counsellor for the Italian Embassy in Tokyo. "That last role, in addition to my academic career, has certainly influenced the choice of the Ministry. For leading institutes, such as Tokyo, it is important to have an established network in the cultural, university and economic development of the host country" explains the professor, commenting on his appointment. The challenge that is prepared is important, since the Tokyo IIC is one of the models for 'Best Practices' and the Italian culture in Japan is especially well known and loved. In the city, there are also thousands of cultural events and therefore seizing the public's attention is not a simple task. "Among the activities of greatest impact of the IIC is definitely teaching Italian. There is also, for example, a major film festival, organized in collaboration with one of the most highly followed media platforms. I intend to continue to enhance the most 'classic activities' related to cinema, art and literature, whilst also working on the production of more cultural activities related to the world of production, such as fashion and design. The IIC must act as a coordinator for cultural initiatives and a magnet for economic fabrics. It is important to enhance and promote some of our technological skills, such as those that apply to the restoration and digitization of cultural heritage. I am also planning a collaboration with RAI for the release of documentaries on these issues."
During his selection interview for the Ministry, the professor focused heavily on the importance of promoting the Italian University. "Ca’ Foscari has numerous agreements with Japanese universities and institutions, and is best known for its studies on Japan - continues Calvetti. - I am sure that our University is one who can best present our overall educational offer to the Japanese, one that is attractive to many of their students, and thus can use this to increase trade between Italy and Japan."