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Central European festival to kick off in May

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A cultural festival featuring music and films from four Central European countries will be staged in Taiwan starting mid-May to mark the 10th anniversary of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia's accession to the European Union (EU).

Speaking at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry's headquarters in Taipei, Levente Szekely, Hungary's top envoy to Taiwan, said the series of events is to be launched so that Taiwanese audiences will be able to “get a glimpse into the cultural life of a whole region in the heart of Europe.”

The events are also to be held to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the successful integration of the four countries, that are called the Visegrad Group, or the V4, into the EU on May, 2004, he said.

The representative said the V4 countries have many cultural treasures that are world-renowned.

“Our regional partnership could be a positive model also here in this part of Asia ... This is why we have decided to have a joint appearance in Taiwan to spread the message of unity through cultural cooperation,” he added.

The series of cultural events include a film festival featuring eight new films from the four European countries that will take place from May 16-July 31.

The free-entry film festival organized by the representative offices of the four countries in Taiwan will be staged at 20 different locations around the country, including northern Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Kaohsiung, Yilan, Hualien and Taitung, according to the event organizer.

In addition, the Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will be performing a concert entitled “Visegrad Inspiration” on June 21.

The music festival will be arranged by TSO principle Hungarian conductor Gilbert Varga and is scheduled to feature Hungarian pianist Deszo Ranki, winner of the first prize at the International Schumann Competition, who will perform as featured soloist.

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