Center showcasing European Roma culture set up in Berlin

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A center to showcase the art and culture of Europe's Roma is being set up in Berlin, a project that backers hope will help tackle prejudice against the minority.

The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture is to open premises in the German capital this fall. The center was launched Thursday at Germany's Foreign Ministry, with supporters including the Council of Europe and George Soros' Open Society Foundations.

Europe is home to some 12 million Roma, a minority that has suffered centuries of discrimination.

Council of Europe chief Thorbjorn Jagland said the idea is "focusing on what Roma culture can contribute to open the eyes of people across Europe." Another aim is "empowering the Roma people itself to make (it) proud of its own history and culture."