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Another day, another successful step towards completion of the Twinning

Another day, another successful step towards completion of the Twinning

Matera – Mayor Raffaello De Ruggieri  offered up a challenge to the Canadian delegation, which he (flanked by his Executive Council), had received in his offices to discuss the MOU on the twinning of Matera-Toronto.
Yes, he said, Matera would accept the MOU as written because the initial intent was to explore opportunities for co-operation between the two cities on matters of cultural significance and/or with tourism implications.
In an hour-long meeting, he offered up two very specific proposals that had not been on the table prior to the meeting. As an indication of his serious intent, he had secured the presence and input of the President of the Chamber of Commerce, the president of the Council of Lucani nel Mondo and that of his respective Executive Councillors responsible for Heritage and IT Applications.
First, he laid out a plan to welcome, immerse and integrate Canadian “budding and accomplished” artists in the “workshop” that Matera had become in the creative and restorative arts.
Second, despite the constraints of time remaining for the bidding process, he invited the delegation headed by York University Professor and former municipal bureaucrat, Frank Miele, to search out Canadian companies to participate in the 5G project. Matera, as part of the “infrastructure build-up” leading to 2019 when it will host the World as the “cultural Capital of Europe, has been designated as a nerve centre for the development of the next generation of IT platforms and communications. The project is international in scope and co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Italy.
Mayor De Ruggieri reached out specifically to MP Francesco Sorbara that he engage his expertise in finance and his access to the Canadian Minister of Finance to promote the economic potential of a Canadian participation in the 5G project.
Matera, along with Bari, will co-host the Economic component of the G7 next month when the Finance Ministers of those countries meet in advance of the Leaders’ meeting in Taormina.
He also specifically singled out the potential roles that the two businessmen/entrepreneurs members of the Basilicata Cultural Society (Dan Montesano and Pat Tremamunno) might play in bridging the richness of what Matera’s vibrant cultural arts community has to offer to what Canadian artists might wish to experience.
In that regard, the region and the national government have already put in place a program – “artisanship to artistry” that aims to recover knowledge of raw materials and techniques in “best use practices” – to maximize productivity of creative and restorative talent.
“It is there for the taking by the willing”, gushed Mayor De Ruggieri, “the rebirth of Matera and its renaissance of the priceless cultural heritage of the past needs to be shared. We have been the site of human activity for 10 000 years and only recently have we begun to peel back the veil covering a patrimony of creativity brought forth from people indigenous to the territory.” “Matera’s potential is exponentially greater than it relatively small population of some 60,000 people”, said his delegate, Michele Grieco, the Mayor’s spokesperson and representative assigned to the delegation. “It is an incubator for creativity, from art, engineering, to music and the culinary inventiveness that traditionally make Lucana cuisine a prized culture world-wide. The potential fruits of this twinning are as diverse as they are unlimited”, he added.
The presentation, live in a tour of the facilities available, included the University, the Conservatory and a Panificio (Bakery) whose service and products date back to 1890 – a fact incorporated in its name.
The University will be the Hub for the 5G project. Led by Professor Vincenzo Crispino, the Conservatory, with its 1,500 students and 110 staff – and a fully funded “exchange program” – will work with international students who aspire to professional music careers. Small and medium sized businesses like Maria Bruno of 1890 will share their command of the slow food business with restaurateurs and others.
The Toronto delegation will have a final copy of the MOU approved by Matera City Council fine tuned to include the outcomes of discussions for the approval delegation in 10 days by Toronto’s  delegation. 
 
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Mar Sun ,2017