The Italian Cultural Institute acts not only as an image of Italy and as useful source of information on the Italian system, but is also the driving force behind the cultural initiatives and cooperation. It represents also the fundamental reference point for the Italian community abroad and is the centre of the growing demand of Italian culture around the world.
The Institute is active on all the Lebanese territory:
- Hamra office: situated in Rome Street, Bldg 209 Ras Beirut, in the very central district of Hamra – Beirut;
- Tyre branch: active for the South of Lebanon.
The Italian Cultural Institute of Beirut offers the following services:
- Italian Language and Civilization courses given, in all branches, by qualified teachers;
- Two yearly sessions of CILS, PLIDA and DITALS exams , in the Hamra branch, to obtain the Degree of knowledge of Italian language as a foreign language;
- Consultation, in the Hamra branch, of an Italian library, of videos and newspapers, in a reading room where newspapers and Italian magazines are available;
- Information service on Italy, in the cultural domain;
- Preparation of applications for the registration of Lebanese citizen in Italian Universities and Institutes for Higher Artistic and Musical Education. The institute also manages the scholarships offered by public and private Universities and Language Schools.
- Updating Course for Italian language teachers;
- Collaboration and support to the translators and the editors of Italian books and Lebanese writers that treats arguments concerning the Italian culture;
- Collaboration with researchers and students in their survey activities in Lebanon
The institute promotes:
- Exhibitions of art, designs, photography and videoart
- Book fairs;
- Concerts of classical, jazz and folkloristic music;
- Movie reviews;
- Conventions, seminars, and round tables;
- Theatrical works and poetry recitals.
Below, a list of public and private institutions which collaborates with the Institute:
- Ministry of Culture
- Ministry of Education, Higher Teaching and Research and Pedagogical Development Center
- Lebanese University (Public)
- General Directorate of Antiquities
- Local Municipalities
- International Festivals of Baalbeck, Byblos, Beit El-Din
- National Conservatory of Music
- Lebanese Fine Arts Academy (ALBA)
- Saint Joseph University
- La Sagesse University
- Notre Dame University
- Antonine University of the Maronite Order
- Saint Esprit de Kaslik University
- Liban Jazz
- American University of Beirut
- American University od Science & Technology
- American University of Technology
The Institute participates every year, with its own stand, to the International Book Fairs of Beirut and Tripoli.
- Ministry of the Cultural Heritage.
- Ministry of Education and University
- University for Foreigners of Siena and Rome
- Societa` Dante Alighieri
History of the Institute
The Italian Cultural Institute was founded in 1952 and remained open during the terrible years of the civil war (1975-1990). When the creation of the green line Beirut divided East from West Beirut, a branch of the Institute was opened in Zouk Mikhael, a mostly Christian area. This constant presence has created a climate of esteem and confidence with the local partners, who consider the Institute a major actor on the Lebanese cultural scene.
The first Director of the Italian Cultural Institute was the Professor Martino Mario Moreno (1952-1956), orientalist and expert on local culture. Moreno’s translation of the Holy Koran earned him a reputation as a cultural mediator in Lebanon. Fifty years later, the Italian Government decided to honour his achievments by naming the Institute after him. Hence “Martino Mario Moreno Italian Cultural Institute”.
The Directors who headed the Italian Cultural Institute in Lebanon are: Prof. Martino Mario Moreno, Prof. Mario Montuori, Prof. Giovanni Màfera, Prof. Aldo Penasa, Prof. Giuseppe D’Angelo, Prof. Italo Battaglia, Prof. Eustachio Porsia, Prof. Nicola Firmani, Prof. Giorgio Guerrini, Prof. Eustachio Porsia, Prof. Gerlando Butti, Prof. Nicola Firmani, Prof. Ennio Troili, Prof. Wanda Grillo, Prof. Attilio De Gasperis. Prof. Edoardo Crisafulli, Dr Monica Zecca.
The current Director is Angelo Gioè.
In December 2005 the Italian Cultural Institute moved its offices from the Hamra branch to the new Chancellery of the Italian Embassy in Baabda, near the official residence of the President of the Lebanese Republic.