Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai will make a 10-day trip to France and the UK, beginning Feb. 17, to explore possibilities to establish branches of Taiwan Academy in both countries, the Ministry of Culture said Feb. 7.

Lung will inspect the Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris before hosting the 2013 Taiwan-France Cultural Award in at the Institute of France, Paris, Feb. 18. The award was co-founded by the MOC and the French Institute in 1996 to honor distinguished European individuals or groups that have helped promote a better understanding of Taiwan in Europe or facilitated cultural exchanges between the two entities.

While in France Lung will also make an in-depth study of the French film and TV industry and confer with French legislators and people working in the arts to explore possibilities for deepening cultural exchanges between Taiwan and France.

In the UK, Lung will make a speech titled “Face to Face with Lung Ying-tai” at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Feb. 22 and another titled “Civil Society in the Making,” sharing Taiwan’s experience of democratization, at Cambridge University Feb. 26.

Lung’s focus in the UK will be on the mechanisms used to promote the culture and creative industries and arts festivals, including meeting with Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, and Minister for Sport and Tourism Hugh Robertson. (SDH)