Milan Cortina 2026 has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Italy's Ministry of Culture ©Getty Images

A cultural programme embracing music, theatre, cinema, fashion, design and museums is set to feature at the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after the organisers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Italy's Ministry of Culture.

The document aims to promote the values of sport, Olympism and Paralympism through culture and creativity.

Promoting sport and culture is one of the primary objectives of Milan Cortina 2026 as the MoU represents an important step towards the staging of the Games.

A series of projects have been launched to signify the beginning of the initiative.

A contest to compose the Milan Cortina 2026 anthem has been created.

It is aimed at the bands, choirs and conservatoires of Italy and is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of University and Research.

Under the artistic direction of musician Giuseppe Vessicchio, two pieces will be selected and the winner will be chosen by a public vote.

The Milan Cortina 2026 short film contest has also been established and aims for young Italian filmmakers, directors and creatives to talk about their relationship with the mountains and sport.

An international challenge for the creation of the Games' official poster aims to use a dedicated social campaign to pit 226 artists against each other.

In total, 126 Italians and 100 foreigners - one for each participating country at the event - will compete to devise the winning idea with the winner crowned in 2024 at an exhibition featuring the shortlisted works.

The Games will also see open theatres.

The aim is to pay homage to Italy's theatrical tradition through the writing of an original screenplay focused on sport and its values.

Free, subsidised access to museums and archaeological parks will also be implemented at the Games.