18 April 2012
King Juan Carlos of Spain wants to see more South African music, films and crafts in his country, Spanish ambassador Benavides Orgaz told Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile on Tuesday.
Speaking at the signing of a cultural agreement between the two countries in Pretoria, Orgaz said that forging closer cultural ties with a country with an such an important historical background was “a luxury, hence we are saying bring more South African music, crafts and films to our country.”
Mashatile said in response that his department would consider establishing an annual South African Week in Spain, during which local artists would perform at various events around the country.
The cultural agreement, he said, would go a long way towards strengthening people-to-people contact between South Africa and Spain.
“As we have said on various occasions, people-to-people contact is one of the key instruments to promote greater understanding and appreciation of one another.
“People-to-people contact is also the key that opens other doors of interaction, be it in the fields of trade and commerce, education, technology exchanges and many other strategic areas.”
The agreement would also open new avenues for cooperation in the areas of publishing, heritage preservation and museums, music, theatre, dance and film, Mashatile said.
The minister thanked the Spanish government for placing relations with the African continent high on its agenda. “We are encouraged by the work done by the Spanish government to support the African World Heritage Fund,” he said.