Croatia and Italy have a lot in common, both have a rich cultural heritage on which they could develop cooperation in culture, tourism and the economy, notably between the Italian region of Marche and the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion, it was said in Zagreb on Friday at the presentation of the Progetto Adriatico project.

The Marche region has always had close relations with your coast and many important artists and masters from Dalmatia lived in Ancona, but vice versa too. We have a rich cultural heritage and would like you to look less at Budapest and Vienna and turn more to the Adriatic and Italy, said Carlo Pesaresi, representative of the Svim society for the development of Marche and one of the project partners.

He said the Italian-Croatian cultural exchange was an example of a good project which, over the next two years, would take place under the aegis of the European Union. Italy and Croatia already have a fruitful cooperation, Croatian culture will be presented in Italy next year and Italy's in Croatia in 2018, he added.

Pesaresi said the Marche region was doing a lot to make the heritage more attractive and make as many people as possible aware of it, with special attention being paid to the conservation of the industrial heritage, given the ruin of many factories because of the economic crisis.

Zagreb is ready for cooperation, said Ivica Lovric, head of the city office for culture.

Roberto Perna of Marche University said the university would play an important role in future projects. The university has a formative role, industrial life in our region is in a crisis and responses to it are related to students' new competencies and new knowledge, he added.

The presentation of the project, attended by Italian and Croatian culture, tourism and business representatives, was organised by Villaggio Globale International in cooperation with the City of Zagreb and the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts, and was aimed at launching dialogue and estimating business possibilities.

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