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European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture was opened in Berlin
Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of the European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture (ERIAC). Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com
Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of the European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture (ERIAC).

In Berlin, on June 8, 2017, European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture started its work - the first institution to establish the cultural presence of about 12 million Roma in Europe.

According to the principles of the activities of this institution, Roma will have the opportunity to present the image of their people exactly as it is. This is reported in press release of the events of the Council of Europe website.

The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) will be based in the German capital, headed by its Roman scholars, activists and artists.

The institute's activity started with the opening of an art exhibition, which was attended by contemporary artists from 8 countries. The newly-created institute shows its attention to the formation of space for Romanian artists, performers and thinkers insufficiently presented in the context of European art and culture. The Executive Director of ERIAC is Timea Junghaus.

The institute was created due to the efforts of a broad coalition of Roma, activists and artists, who initially created the Alliance for the European Roma Institute to lobby for this idea. The Alliance has been the driving force behind the creation of the Institute, gaining support from the Council of Europe, which includes 47 European states and the Open Society Foundation network of the world-famous philanthropist George Soros, a fierce defender of the Roma.

George Soros, Torbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Michael Roth - Minister of State for Europe attended the opening ceremony of the Institute for the Transformation of the Past, Formation of the Future, organized by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.

"The development of self-identification of Roma is of paramount importance in overcoming the deeply rooted hostility and racism against Roma communities. The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture will help change the negative attitude towards the Roma. It will become an academy in which Romani artists, performers, writers, linguists, historians, the media and others will contribute to the preservation, restoration and further development of culture, identity and self-esteem of the Roma", said George Soros.

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