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Inauguration Speech by the German Ambassador to Cambodia.
19st of January 2007
„Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to assist to the opening of the art and communication center META HOUSE with its first exhibition project INTERCITY.

The creation of this cultural Center in the heart of Phnom Penh and in the vicinity of historical Wat Botum goes back to the private initiative of our German compatriot Nico Mesterharm.

Nico Mesterharm began working as a filmmaker in 1997 and became known through TV documentaries like „AIDS in Cambodia“, „Life is a beach“, „Sold out“, „Trafficking in South East Asia” or „Building a dream“, an excellent documentary on an orphanage in Phnom Penh. His affiliation with the International Academy at the Free University of Berlin and the German PR groups COMPASSION/KROSSOVER suggest that we can rightly term his META HOUSE Center as a German-Cambodian-Center for cultural exchanges, for exhibitions, networking and dialogue between cultural scenes in South East Asia and Europe.

Cultural Exchanges become ever more important in a world which is increasingly interdependent economically und politically. Culture is so to say the 3rd dimension of our globalised world, Even though Cambodia is ranked an LDC measured by its income per capital. Cambodia is extremely rich in the culture field, is disposes of a unique world cultural heritage, a multitude of living cultural traditions and a very creative modern cultural scene. Therefore we also attach considerable importance to culture in our development cooperation with Cambodia.

The architecture, bas-reliefs and sculptures of the temples of Angkor remain a source of fascination and inspiration for the culturally interested public and art lovers all over the world. The large number of visitors to the grand exhibition on Angkor which is presently being shown in Bonn, Germany, and which has been inaugurated by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni und German Federal President Horst Köhler a month ago is indicative for this great interest in Cambodian Art and Culture.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to commend Nico Mesterharm’s initiative to provide a forum, a platform and space for Cambodian und South East Asien artists to display their works, to meet, to interact und exhibit their work. I wish him and the META House a successful start.”