Culture vultures to swoop on city for global summit

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GOVERNMENT ministers from across the globe are set to gather in Edinburgh next summer for the first ever International Culture Summit.

The Capital will host the event next August at the height of the festival season.

Ministers of culture from nations attending the London Olympic Games will be welcomed to the inaugural summit on August 13-14 to discuss the role of culture in forging international relationships.

The Scottish Government said the event will allow Scotland – and particularly the Capital – to showcase its creative industries against the backdrop of the festivals.

Councillor Tom Buchanan, the city’s economic development leader, said the event would be hugely valuable to Edinburgh’s international profile. He said: “A meeting of international culture ministers will be a huge boost for the city’s profile.

“These influential individuals will go back to their respective countries to convey to everyone else the wonderful offering that is the city of Edinburgh.”

Although details of the location and schedule have not yet been released, hotels and local businesses are expecting a significant boost from hosting the ministers and their entourages. On the agenda for debate will be how future skills for the creative industries can be fostered and the role of technology in the sector.

The summit will bring together culture ministers with prominent artists, thinkers and others involved in developing and implementing cultural policy.

Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival, said: “The Festival is delighted to contribute to international cultural discourse, and in particular to bring the viewpoint of artists to that discourse. This event offers an opportunity for international partners and policy-makers to observe at first hand the world- class platform offered to their artists and companies by Edinburgh’s festivals. It will also be an opportunity to forge new relationships.”

The summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Government and the Edinburgh International Festival, along with the UK government and the British Council.

Scottish Government Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “In bringing together overseas ministers in Edinburgh, the summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to discuss the use and value of the arts, culture and the creative industries, and their role in encouraging dialogue among nations.”