Travel to Italy for cultural and security engagements

4 May 2015

I will visit Italy from 4 to 8 May to represent the Australian Government at the Venice Biennale and to meet security and cultural counterparts in Rome.

I will officially open Australia’s newly built pavilion at the Venice Biennale, one of the world’s most important exhibitions of contemporary visual arts.

This is the first 21st century building in the Biennale Gardens (Giardini della Biennale). The architects have created a flexible and versatile exhibition space that will showcase Australian contemporary art.

I will also attend the opening of artist Fiona Hall’s exhibition Wrong Way Time, the inaugural exhibition at the new Australian Pavilion.

The pavilion was funded through a public-private partnership with over $6.5 million donated by philanthropists to the project. The Australian Government contributed $1 million to the project through the Australia Council.

Australia is a cultural force on the world stage with the arts contributing immeasurably to our international reputation. As Arts Minister, one of my priorities is to elevate the profile of Australian arts overseas and continue to build our reputation as among the best in the world.

At the 56th annual biennale, Australia will have the greatest representation of artists ever with 60 invited to participate. Australia’s involvement in the Biennale will serve to raise the profile of our architects, artists, and curators with an international audience of around 500,000 people.

In Rome I will meet Italy’s Culture Minister to discuss ongoing collaboration between our two countries on arts and cultural matters.

I will also meet with ministerial counterparts to discuss issues of vital importance to Australia's long-term national security interests, including counter-terrorism measures and ways governments can support communities to prevent violent extremism from emerging.