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The Italian Culture Institution Director is elected I.I. Mechnikov ONU Honorable Professor
The ONU Academic Council acknowledged the achievements of the Professor Nikola Franko Balloni in development of the relationship between Italy and Odessa on the 28th of September. He was elected to become ONU honorable professor.
Franco Balloni made a great contribution into relationship between Italy and Southern Ukraine, especially with Odessa. Odessa is a well-known historic center of Italian society. He wrote a number of researches in history of relationship between Ukraine and Italy in 1993. Together with the experts in Italian he restarted the work of regional Language and Cultural Union “Dante Alighieri”. In 1997 F. Balloni created and became Head of the Italian Cultural Institution.
During work in Ukraine (1992–1999, 2001, September 2003 - till now) he established a working partnership of Italian Institute of culture and other leading Italian institutions with Ukrainian institutions of culture, science and education. In addition Franko Balloni provided grants for studying and training in Italy for around 500 Ukranian students and scientists. As a head of department of science, culture and education in the Italian embassy of Ukraine and Italian Institute in Ukraine (from September, 2003), professor Balloni organized over a thousand events and projects related to culture and science, few of them are international and play a significant role for Ukraine (for instance, joint project between Ukraine and Italy devoted to serial transnational nomination of Genoa's fortification constructions in Mediterranean and Pontic for the list of worldwide heritage of UNESCO, 2005-2009).
The Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University has been the base higher educational establishment, which provides Italian language and cultural education in Southern Ukraine. Due to professor Balloni’s active participation, ONU opened a lectureship of Italian language and literature in 1998, Italian Language Centre within the Roman-German Philology Department, Italian Centre of History and Culture named after Giuseppe Garibaldi. For instance, the opening of Italian Centre of History and Culture named after Giuseppe Garibaldi became one of the key moments in development of educational and scientific relationships between Italy and Ukraine. During the last years many ONU students were provided with grants for studying and training in Italian universities. Italian Institute of Culture regularly assists in the completion of libraries with all sorts of books regarding the Italian culture in ONU. Professor Balloni also takes a personal part in commemorations of Italian Independence Day at ONU.
V. Smyntyna thanked Professor Balloni for effective cooperation at the solemn election ceremony. He also underlined that such an event would play a significant role in future cultural, scientific and educational cooperation.
Translated by Galyna Peha
The Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University
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