ACADEMICS from all over the world are this week gathering in Palma for the 16th Dowling College, Long Island, Mediterranean Conference.
A special opening ceremony at the Es Baluard contemporary art museum in Palma will mark the start of the five-day conference this morning. Over the next few days, leading academics, businessmen, economists and politicians will be giving a wide range of lectures. A host of subjects will be covered from modern art and science to the proposed Gibraltar tunnel project, George Orwell's writings about the Spanish Civil war and the effect of the Euro on Spain.
The International Mediterranean Conferences are an annual event organised by the New York university to provide a valuable academic forum for scholars to present their latest research in their particular specialist fields. Obviously, a Mediterranean city has always been chosen to host the conference which also includes tourism museum visits, art shows and musical concerts.
Presiding over this morning's opening ceremony will be Balearic president Jaume Matas, Tourism Minister Joan Flaquer, chairman of the Baluard Museum and Bulletin publishing group, Sr. Pere Serra, the director of the conferences Dr. Norman Holub and the chairman of the Charles Delmar Foundation, Mareen Delmar Hughes.
A total of 40 professors from universities across the United States and the rest of the world, including Oxford and Manchester in England, will be attending the study groups which will be held in Palma and Soller.
Today's first session will include three talks on Spanish modern art followed by Mediterranean economics and business, during which one of the lectures will be given by Philippe Dewast, one of the former directors of Eurotunnel, who will talk about the Gibraltar Tunnel Project.
The session will also include a talk of new economies and tourism in the Mediterranean and North Africa as well as the impact of the Euro on Spain.
History and Geography will include a lecture by Dr. Andrew Fear from Manchester University on Julius Caesar in Spain. Tomorrow features Spanish history with Sr. Nigel Griffin from Oxford University opening the conference. Politics is also on today's agenda with Dr. Marcus Tye, Dowling College, giving a lecture on Reactions to terror: The Psychology of a Culture, Spain and the United States 2004. Tomorrow also includes a round table on wine civilisation. Friday is very much a Majorcan studies day at Soller Museum, and Saturday, the final day, the Spanish Civil War.