Fo­cus on Silk Road with fare fro­macross the globe

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By DENG ZHANGYU dengzhangyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Gansu prov­ince’s Dun­huang is host­ing the first Silk Road Dun­huang Cul­ture Expo un­til Oct 7, pre­sent­ing thou­sands of an­tiques, art­works and hand­i­crafts from across the globe.

The city — known for its grot­toes that date back 1,600 years — was a ma­jorn­ode­ofthean­cient­trader­oute.

A to­tal of 85 coun­tries, in­clud­ing France, Italy, Ger­many, Rus­sia and Egypt, will dis­play about 8,500 cul­tural items, in­clud­ing about 2,000 an­tiques and an equal num­ber of art­works.

That’s not to men­tion two weeks of fo­rums and per­for­mances.

At the open­ing cer­e­mony onTues­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping sent a wel­come let­ter to the expo, say­ing that Dun­huang has long been an im­por­tant city to in­te­grate cul­tures from East and West, and that the cul­ture expo of­fers a crit­i­cal plat­form for na­tions along the Silk Road to co­op­er­ate and ex­change.

Vice-Premier Liu Yan­dong at­tended the open­ing cer­e­monyand­madea speech.

Min­is­ter of Cul­ture Luo Shugang says the expo is listed in­China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) as a plat­form to sup­port China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

France — the guest of honor — is pre­sent­ing about 400 cul­tural prod­ucts, in­clud­ing pho­tos, mu­sic, film, food and fash­ion, in a space as big as five bas­ket­ball courts. The pre­sen­ta­tions demon­strate its Silk Road con­nec­tions.

High­lights in­clude oil paint­ings by French mas­ters Eu­gene Delacroix and Pierre Mig­nard, and Span­ish icon Pablo Pi­casso.

An­tiques from French mu­se­ums like the Silk Mu­seum in Lyon and Musee Pas­teur in Paris will be pre­sented for the first time in China.

Ber­nice An­gremy, cul­tural at­tache of the French em­bassy in China, says the Silk Road has for 800 years en­abled France to com­mu­ni­cate with China and Asia, and en­gage Con­fu­cian­ism, Bud­dhism and Is­lam. It made French cul­ture what it is to­day.

China is pre­sent­ing a 500-yearold, 30-me­ter-longmapof 211 places in 10 na­tions and re­gions in Asia, Europe and Africa, from China’s Ji­ayuguan in Gansu prov­ince toMecca in Saudi Ara­bia. The “world map of the Mid­dle Ages” was bought by a Chi­nese col­lec­tor from a Ja­panese mu­seum in 2002.

A spe­cial show about the Mar­itime Silk Road dis­plays mod­els of ships used by ex­plor­ers in the Ming Dy­nasty (1368-1644), ac­tual ship­wrecks’ de­bris and daily items used by Chi­nese who mi­grated to coun­tries along the route.

On-site artists will present such hand­i­crafts as car­pets, porce­lain pieces and enamel ware.

“The expo is like a jour­ney through time en­abling vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence art along the Silk Road,” says Yan Dong, deputy gen­eral man­ager of China Arts & En­ter­tain­ment Group, which helped or­ga­nize the event.

The expo harks to the pros­per­ous pe­riod when peo­ple from dif­fer­ent na­tions came to­gether for cul­ture and busi­ness cen­turies ago.

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