KOSTOLAC, Serbia (AFP) – Serbian President Boris Tadic told a UNESCO conference that modern art can help reconciliation as it was the only area where exchanges continued during the 1990s Yugoslav wars.
“The value and importance of modern art in our region is reflected in the fact that it was in that domain where communication never stopped,” Tadic said at the opening of a summit of the UN cultural organisation called “Modern art and reconciliation in Southeast Europe.”
“Even in this region’s troubled period joint art projects represented the only model of how cultures could connect, recognise themselves in others…despite differences in heritage, tradition and religion,” Tadic said.
The Serbian president spoke in front of regional counterparts including Croatia’s Ivo Josipovic, Bulgaria’s Georgi Parvanov, Albania’s Bamir Topi and Montengro’s Filip Vujanovic.
Reconciliation in the Balkans region which shares a conflict-scarred history is an important condition for countries here to join the European Union which insists on good relations with neighbour countries.
Of the countries participating in the UNESCO summit only Bulgaria is already a member of the European bloc with Croatia set to follow in summer 2013.
“I am convinced that (modern art) cooperation and our UNESCO summit represent a step forward in our joint European future,” Tadic said.
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