The Enrica Lexie incident that sparked a diplomatic row between the governments of Italy and India has now set to affect the cultural ties between two countries.
The incident, which created ripples internationally in 2012, also left a bitter aftertaste in the diplomatic circles of both countries has now apparently led to the Italian government denying permission to an Italian playhouse to stage their play in the International Theatre Festival to be held at the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi in Thrissur from January 27 to February 3.
According to Surya Krishnamurthy, Chairman of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, the strained ties between the two countries have cast a shadow over the participation of a famous Italian playhouse in the upcoming festival.
“From the information available from the playhouse in Italy, the Italian authorities are not interested in their playhouses performing in Kerala, though the play houses are keen to stage their performances here,” he said.
While refusing to disclose the company’s name, Surya Krishnamurthy said the Italian authorities have shown a negative face towards the proposal submitted by the playhouse when it approached the Embassy officials for permission to go to Kerala.An email message sent by the playhouse to the Akademi has said that when they contacted the Italian Institute of Culture in New Delhi, the authorities communicated that all the activities of the Italian people with Kerala have been suspended after the Enrica Lexie incident, he added. Earlier, the Akademi had contacted the playhouse to ensure its participation and received a positive reply from their side. When the Akademi came to know about the undeclared embargo, the officials also tried to contact Italian cultural foundations in India, but failed to yield any result, he added.