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Carles Vilarrubí, a Salisbury. FOTO: www.adrianharrisphotography.co.uk

Carles Vilarrubí, a Salisbury. FOTO: www.adrianharrisphotography.co.uk

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Catalonia has been invited to the 41st edition of the Salisbury International Arts Festival, traditionally the first of the season in the United Kingdom. It lasts for about a month and always dedicates a couple of weeks to another country. In the past, it has focused on such places as Russia, India, China and Brazil, and this year the chosen nation is Catalonia.

‘Barça: sport, culture and education’

The Institut Ramon Llull has been charged with overseeing this transfer of both traditional and contemporary Catalan culture to the British Isles, which includes dance, circus acts, cinema and conferences focused on the Catalan identity. It was within this context that the vice president of the FC Barcelona institutional area, Carles Vilarrubí, presented on Tuesday evening a conference titled ‘Barça: sport, culture and education’, on the bond between Barça and the Catalan identity, and the values and features that make the Club so unique.

His talk, which was followed by a question and answer session, was given in front of a full house of some 150 people, all of whom demonstrated an extraordinary knowledge of both football and Barça. As the FC director said, “it was a very heterogeneous audience, but they were united by an interest in Catalan culture and politics, as well as the peculiarities of Barça, from La Masia to the democratic way that the members govern the club’s affairs”.

Exceptionally matchless

Vilarrubí’s talk was similar to those he gave previously in Glasgow and the new Sorbonne on occasion of the team’s matches against Celtic and PSG and in accordance with the agreement between FC Barcelona and the Institut Ramon Llull to work together in the projection of Catalan culture abroad. “We were surprised by the success of the conferences at universities in Glasgow and France. Because of that, we have been invited to appear in other places”, said Vilarrubí to www.fcbarcelona.cat.

So, exceptionally and at no cost to the Club, the vice president accepted the invitation to attend the prestigious Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival despite it not coinciding with any first team match. And he considered both this and the year of work in conjunction with the Institut Ramon Llull to have been an extraordinary success. “It is highly satisfactory to parade the Club’s image and its links with the country around Europe” he commented.

25 activities in England

Salisbury Festival attracts about 80,000 people a year. Barça’s appearance is just one of 25 activities on the Catalan part of the programme, which also includes traditional displays such as the opening concert by the Cobla de Sant Jordi and human towers by the Castellers de Vilafranca, plus more contemporary performances by the likes of the Roger Bernat and La Troba Kung-Fú companies, as well as a series of the latest Catalan language films.

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