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Canary Islands ,  February 28, 2018

Azores and Canary Islands strengthen partnership through literature and music

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations stated in Lanzarote that the Azores, like the Canary Islands, "contribute to the European identity through their culture."
Rui Bettencourt participated in a literary talk between João de Melo and Pilar del Rio as part of the celebrations of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. On the occasion, he stressed the "threefold nature" of both archipelagos is still quite noticeable: they are islands, Macaronesia territories and European Union regions. The Canary Islands are an "important" partner for the Azores as reinforced by the recent Summit between both Regions.
At the event, the government official was accompanied by the Adviser for Tourism and Culture and the Deputy Adviser for External Relations of the Government of the Canary Islands. According to him, the initiatives promoted by the Regional Government under the celebrations of the European Year 2018 in partnership with the Government of the Canary Islands and the José Saramago Foundation fall within a "strategy to project the Region through culture."
"The fact that the first activities take place on islands belonging to Macaronesia symbolises the importance and specificities of archipelagos in the cultural life of a country and of Europe," added the government official.
This initiative included a literary talk between João de Melo and Pilar del Rio that was held at José Saramago House. It addressed the Azores and the theme of insularity in Portuguese literature as well as the island as a theme in the work of José Saramago. It was followed by a dialogue of musical instruments between a "viola da terra" (traditional Azorean guitar) and a "timple" (traditional string instrument from the Canary Islands) performed by musicians Ricardo Melo and Benito Cabrera from both archipelagos. The event closed with a tasting of regional products.
Moreover, Rui Bettencourt participated in the meeting "Azores, a place of the world" held at the Lanzarote Insular Library in the context of the European Year, an event that brought together Azorean writer João de Melo and secondary school students from that island. On that occasion, the government official urged young people from both regions "to join forces in building the future."
At the event attended by the Adviser for Education of the Canary Islands, the Regional Secretary delivered to the director of the Library, Fernando Morales, thirty books by Azorean authors and about Azorean themes, thus contributing to the "dissemination of Azorean literature in Macaronesia."
In addition to being declared the European Year of Cultural Heritage by the European Commission, 2018 is also the year marking the twentieth anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to José Saramago and the thirtieth anniversary of the first edition of "Gente Feliz com Lágrimas" (Happy People in Tears); the latter is regarded as João de Melo's masterpiece. 
These are the first of several initiatives that the Regional Government will develop during 2018, celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage with initiatives inside and outside the Region.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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