Monica Babuc, Minister of Culture, outlines her ministry’s recent projects to promote Moldova’s cultural heritage. She also discusses the ministry’s efforts to make the Moldovan people more aware of the importance of preserving their culture.
European Times: What are some of your recent projects?
Monica Babuc: One of our biggest achievements has been to draw the public’s attention to culture. One of our projects is Novateca, which began as a pilot project last year with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We have upgraded 69 libraries through this project, and around €9 million in funding will be used to upgrade 1,000 rural libraries over the next five years. Moldova is also allocating more state funding for cultural projects, including for renovating museums which are also architectural monuments. Thanks to promotional efforts, this year’s “Night of the Museums” event attracted over 43,000 people, double the usual number. The Ministry of Culture has also greatly improved our collaboration with local administrations, which are beginning to promote local cultural projects. We have organized training in Romania for some of our cultural authorities, and Moldova’s circus building, which was closed for 10 years, has just been reopened, although its arena with seating for 2,000 still needs to be restored.
European Times: Can you highlight some of Moldova’s cultural achievements?
Monica Babuc: Moldova has a long history of opera and theatre and is hosting the 23rd International Festival of Opera and Ballet this year in our National Theatre. We also have thriving theatre, music and film schools, and our cultural heritage includes unique costumes, dances and crafts. Many architectural monuments and fine museums can be found throughout the country, including the 17th century Adormirea Maicii Domnului church in Causeni, which needs to be renovated, and Orheiul Vechi (old Orhei) on the Raut river. Moldova has a rich cultural heritage with much to offer international visitors.
European Times: How will Moldovan culture be represented at Expo Milano in 2015?
Monica Babuc: We will show a film of traditional Moldovan folk dancing as well as exhibits on national costumes, traditional music, traditional food, modern artists and cultural festivals.
European Times: What are you planning for the future?
Monica Babuc: Moldova’s Culture 2020 strategy includes attracting investment to cultural activities, such as fashion design and cinema, and promoting Moldovan crafts. We also plan to continue to promote culture throughout the country, showcase Moldovan culture to the world, and upgrade our cultural attractions with the help of investors.