The importance of culture in the international relations during the Cold War was recognized - even if early set aside - by the 35 participating states that, on August 1975, signed the Helsinki Final Act, the founding document of the Conference for Se-curity and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) and the multilateral acme of the period known as Détente. The essay - mainly based on primary sources from the CSCE and NATO Archives, as well as from the National Archives of the United Kingdom - aims to shed light on one of the most underrated aspects of the "humanitarian basket" of the Conference, in order to investigate if the cultural factor was a facilitator or hindered the talks among the states. Specific attention is also paid to the role of the «cultural per-sonalities» from the East and West who participated to the meetings on cultural co-operation, together with the respective diplomatic delegations. Thus, the analysis fo-cuses on the past but is also useful to better understand the current evolution of cultur-al diplomacy and to reflect on the role of culture in the light of the resurgence of na-tional egoisms.
Keywords: Culture, Diplomacy, CSCE, Cold War, Security, Multilateralism