International Art Festival
Korcula – 09.06.- 14.06.2018.
Minister of Tourism
Minister of Tourism
With yet another edition of the “Marco Polo Art Festival- Silk Road, the Path of Dialogue” approaching, I would like to invite all the lovers of cultures from the Silk Road countries, including China, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, India, South Korea, Iran, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Turkey to visit the birthplace of Marco Polo on Korčula, one of the most beautiful Croatian islands. Silk from Konavle, the walls in Ston and Marco Polo in Korčula are the Croatian links with China and the Silk Road, and the aim of this festival, as well as other associated activities, is to strengthen the cooperation of our countries in the field of innovation, with tourism as the best bridge for cooperation and understanding. This festival is yet another link between the Republic of Croatia and the People’s Republic of China, the connections that have existed ever since the 13th century when the Korčula born Marko Polo, through to the Silk Road, changed the European knowledge about the world and brought the rich Chinese culture closer to Europe. Today, eight centuries later, China’s market is extremely important for Croatian tourism, which just in 2017 has grown by 50 percent.
According to the preliminary information, this year more than 150 million Chinese are expected to travel beyond the borders of China in the pre-and postseason period, of which a significant number of visitors will come to Croatia. It is important to know that they pay great attention to the natural beauties and the rich cultural heritage of our country.
Aside from heritage drawn visitors, Croatia is more and more interesting to the Chinese investors. This interest is certainly
a result of intensive promotional activities and even better air-connections, and I believe that the upcoming opening of the Croatian Tourist Board’s representative office in Shanghai will result in even better tourism results. It is rare that a country, especially as small as Croatia, can boast of so much wealth of highly preserved natural beauties, as well as rich
historical and cultural heritage. The cultural heritage, the richness of beautiful examples of handicraft can be found in all parts of Croatia. They present a tremendous potential for the Croatian tourism which today cannot be imagined without culture, as neither culture in Croatia, both tangible and intangible, cannot be renewed and developed in a quality and
sustainable way without tourism. In the Ministry of Tourism, we are aware of these values and that is precisely why cultural tourism is recognized within the Tourism Development Strategy by 2020 as one of the key products.
Croatia already has all the preconditions to become one of the leading cultural destinations. By 2020, further growth and development of cultural tourism is predicted, and the great importance of this product is emphasized for the future growth of the entire tourism sector, especially in the preand post-period period. Every destination in Croatia is a part of a wholesome tourism story that is diverse, rich and can attract different market segments, interesting to many guests who have different needs and expectations from their travels. This is why it is especially important to encourage projects such as the International Festival Marco Polo Art Festival, which focus on tradition, history and skills. The Ministry of Tourism is its proud patron. I believe that in the future such examples and further transformation and valorisation of our rich heritage for tourism purposes, will have an undeniably positive effect for Croatian tourism and will add to Croatia’s recognition as a destination that is interesting to both domestic and foreign tourists all year round.
Minister of Culture
Nina Obuljen Koržinek
During this year’s International Art Festival – The Silk Road – The Marco Polo Path of Dialogue, Korčula will become a meeting place for cultures with special features of European and Asian languages and worldviews related to the countries represented through their films, concerts, exhibitions and literary programmes. The festival, organized for the third year, shows the ambition of its creators to bring the audience in Korčula closer to a more intensive intercultural dialogue that will remind of the cooperation among the countries of the Silk Road along the trade route that used to connect the East and the West, as well as promote and facilitate, for hundreds of years, exchanges between Eastern and Western civilizations.
Through committed work on developing international cooperation, the organizers of the Festival contribute in their own way to efforts to expand knowledge on cultural heritage, provide information on contemporary cultural and artistic activities and deepen mutual knowledge of the cultures of all the countries involved. I am convinced that the audience
in Korčula will recognize these artists as authentic art creators today and their works and performances as the bond between the past and the future. The interdisciplinary nature of the third International Art Festival – The Silk Road – The
Marco Polo Path of Dialogue will undoubtedly contribute to mutual understanding of cultural diversity as the basis for potential new joint projects, better knowledge of the cultures of the countries participating with their artworks
and to an even greater strengthening of mutual friendship.
Mayor of Korčula
Mayor of Korčula
It is my great pleasure to give my support to the Third Marco Polo Art Festival which will be held from June 9th to June 14th 2018 in the Town of Korčula. The path which the Marco Polo Institute and the Town of Korčula took together two years ago is successfully continuing on its desired course – establishing the Town and Island of Korčula as a meeting point and dialogue of peoples and cultures of the ancient Silk Road.
This path of ours is only a small part of the large global project ONE ROAD, ONE BELT, which, besides its economic importance is also a cultural link between all countries along the mythical and historical Silk Road, whose starting point in
those ancient times was Korčula. Of course, a great help to us on this path will be the great travel writer and adventurer
Marco Polo, whose connection with Korčula is no longer in doubt today. The courage with which he left Korčula in 1271 to embark on a journey into the unknown, and the knowledge he gather along his way which we chersh even to this day in the age of modern communication technology represent for Korčula, but also for Croatia and the entire Europe, a link to all the countires along the Silk Road, with special emphasis on the cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, the creator of This year, the program of the Festival is rich in film, art and music, and its diversity adds to the already rich cultural offer of the Town of Korčula.
Director of Marco Polo Art Festival
Director of Marco Polo Art Festival
Dear friends of the Third International Marco Polo Art Festival, ‘The Silk Road – The Path of Dialogue,’ all of you gathered here, in this beautiful, ancient Korčula Town – the town from which, seven centuries ago, a man started his journey to meet and get to know those others, those different ones, thus enriching the world – let me wish you a warm and sincere welcome! The charm of Marco Polo Art Festival is primarily defined by its diversity, on account of which it has managed to gather the ten countries of the Silk Road in this intercultural dialogue, he countries being: Azerbaijan Bulgaria, Croatia, Kazahstan, India, Indonesia, Iran, China, Russia, and, finally, this year’s partner country – Turkey.
Numerous aspects of art production, of music, film, literary and artistic, expression, and with the unifying topic of the Silk Road – which we have, again, this year, dilligently and tenaciously presented in our program – will, no doubt, contribute to the complete multicultural experience, sheltered and grown in this magical place, and surrounded by the impressive monuments and invaluable inheritance of the island of Korčula. This year’s third festival edition, whose main program is presented from June 9-14.2018, is planned to continue and carry its unique festival tradition throughout all three summer months. In this way, we will be able to present the richness of diverse art production from all the countries-participants of the Third Marco Polo Art festival, to the tourists visiting Korčula from around the world.
Hoping that this year’s diversity will motivate and Inspire you to understand each other better, to add value to human movement, not inveteracy, to webs and networks, not to fences and barbwire, and to interaction, not rigid rules – let’s be merry and enjoy the dynamic and successful Marco Polo Art Festival of 2018!
THE SUMMARY AND PURPOSE OF THE FESTIVAL
The key issue of our era, of development and the desired outcome of global politics, is to achieve world peace – a state of dialogue and tolerance among people. Achieving this paradigm first and foremost could be provided by connecting the points of the joint representation for the pluralism of culture identity and diversity, the absence of the politics of culture, which were the same reality and discourse burdens topical also in the era and the thinking of Marco Polo, seven centuries ago.