Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, Franco Frattini, Miguel Angel Martinez and many other european personalities will be in Florence on 17 December for the inauguration of the new seat of the HAEU

For immediate diffusion9 December 2009


On 17 December the President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, will inaugurate Villa Salviati, Florence, the new premises of the Historical Archives of the European Union. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, will also be present together with the Vice President of the European Parliament, Miguel Ángel Martínez.

In recognition of its importance for the historical memory of the European integration process, the inauguration will be attended not only by Italian and European politicians but also by many others who have helped construct Europe. This event has been organized by the European University Institute of Florence[1], which manages the Historical Archives for the European Union.

Villa Salviati was acquired by the Italian Government in 2000 as Villa Il Poggiolo, the building where the Historical Archives are currently housed, was clearly becoming too small to accommodate the mass of documents that come in every year from the principle institutions of the Union. After careful preparation and planning, the restructuring and restoration of the Renaissance building began mid-2008, under the guidance of the Provveditorato alle Opere Pubbliche della Toscana, and mid-December shall see the completion of the first and main part of the work relative to the underground archives and the restoration of the roofs and facades of the Villa.

The Historical Archives of the European Union collect, preserve, protect and make accessible to the public historical documents dating back at least 30 years from the European institutions of coal and steel, from the European Economic Community and from the Euratom. Since September 2004 they have also received, in the form of private collections, the archives of politicians, bureaucrats and other community officials, as well as those of movements and organizations, that have furthered the European integration process.

The restoration of Villa Salviati is important not only for the European University Institute, but also for the city of Florence. The presence of the institution responsible for the historical memory of the European integration process is more than an emblem of prestige; it is also an important contribution to the cultural and academic wealth of the city.

After years of neglect Villa Salviati will therefore once again be part of the life, and above all the culture, of Florence and of Europe.

If you need additional information:
EUI communications & public relations unit

Ana Aguado Cornago (in Brussels) - Tel.: +32 2 227 11 31

Serena Bürgisser (in Florence) - Tel.: +39 055 4685 378

[1] The European University Institute (EUI) in Florence is a post-graduate and post-doctoral university benefiting from the status of international organization. It currently hosts some 600 doctoral students and 150 fellows specializing in the Social Sciences. The EUI also offers the most important post-doctoral programme in Europe, and is home to the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, an interdisciplinary research centre focusing on European and international themes.
Students, administrative and teaching staff are principally but not exclusively recruited from EU Member States. In 2008, applications were received from over 100 countries. This multicultural environment, unique of its kind, allows an integrated approach to both teaching and research and transcends national academic traditions. The EUI is also home to the Historical Archives of the European Union, which will move, in the near future, to the splendid seat of Villa Salviati, thanks to the contribution of the Italian Government.

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