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San Marino: European Year of Intercultural Dialogue

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The European Union has declared 2008 the "Year of Intercultural Dialogue". The initiative takes inspiration from the fundamental principles of the European Union expressed in the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which places special emphasis on the respect and the promotion of cultural diversity.

The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue is celebrated by the Republic of San Marino with the issue of a philatelic series which portrays the Earth as it appeared in origin, before the continental drift: Pangea ("all lands").

The ancient globe is at the centre of a polychrome spiral which envelops it, its colours symbolizing the innumerable cultural facets which men have created, diversifying due to environmental, historic and social factors. The artist has chosen to frame Pangea with a spiral, because when rotated, it creates a moving optical effect which is both divergent and convergent. Just as "Cultures" are a distinctive element which create a necessary sense of belonging to one's community, at the same time they should supply the right alchemy to establish a good point of contact and convergence, the foundation for respect and peaceful cohabitation. The graphic allusion of the European Community emblem poses "attention on the expressions of cultural diversity to the heritage and ways of life of the Member States of the European Union".

The 8th of April, 2008, is the date of the first meeting regarding the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue and will take place in Strasburg under the Presidency of the Republic of San Marino.

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