His Excellency M.MOHAMED BEJI CAÏD ESSEBSIPRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC of Tunisia (1926-2019)
A City of Creativity and Freedom
It is not by coincidence if the City of Culture opens its doors in a time where Tunisia is experiencing a very specific democratic experience based on the acknowledgement of the political and cultural pluralism. Freedom and culture are interdependent and the existence of one of them remains essential for the other. Both of them can prosper only in a space where the right to diversity, difference and to the free creation can flourish.
Thus, it becomes easier to understand the difficult steps that the creation of the City of Culture went through. We were waiting for the achievement of such a monument for long time, just like we were waiting for democracy and freedom. This project was hindered for a long period, and here it is now, born thanks to the will of men and women, and to the determination of all those who seriously contributed to its realization, throughout the years that preceded and followed the revolution. May they all be warmly thanked for their efforts.
Through the inauguration of the City of Culture, we want to say that Tunisia is on the right path despite all the difficulties and that the interest we are according to the political process will not make us forget that culture does not represent a luxury but a deep and vital necessity for any free and ambitious society. Culture is the memory of the nation and the crucible of its consciousness, the continuity of history and the major tool for the production of the symbols and meanings of its past, its present and its future. Finally, the City of Culture is a tribute to our intellectuals, creators and artists from all the generations. It represents a proof of respect and recognition for them and for all those carrying a goodwill and eager for life and hope.