Greek and Italian cultural events boost China ties and cooperation

2019-11-04 Xinhua Editor:Mo Hong'e

Chinese artists dance during a cultural exchange event on Friday in Rome, Italy. (CHENG TINGTING/XINHUA)

Athens this week held a series of cultural events, highlighting the deepening friendship and cooperation between China and Greece.

The cultural exchange activities in the Greek capital started with the opening of the exhibition, Traveling Comics from China to Greece, on Thursday, which put more than 100 works of Chinese animation on display.

Eleni Fotiou, a Greek journalist and travel consultant was among the guests of the exhibition with her husband Panos Dimitrakopoulos, a musician who has worked with Chinese artists.

"I am very interested in the civilization of China because it is as ancient as Greece's and I always follow this kind of exhibitions. It gave me the chance to meet the Chinese way of thinking," Fotiou said.

Fotiou's remark was echoed by her husband, who believes that Greece and China are connected by many elements, including music.

"I don't actually see anything dividing us. And music is a bridge, arts overall, which helps peoples getting closer," Dimitrakopoulos said.

During the event, 15 young Greek students from the Athens School of Fine Arts painted their own versions of Panda-inspired works on rice paper as presents for the guests. Nikitas Oikonomidis was one of them. He painted a panda as an ancient warrior from Sparta.

"In arts in this case, there is interaction. We are sharing ideas to work on," he said.

This kind of sharing of ideas continued during the inauguration of an exhibition of Chinese books under the theme "From the Silk Road to the Belt and Road" on Friday and the opening ceremony of an exhibition on Chinese calligraphy on Saturday.

"The organization of such events helps to further deepen the acquaintance between peoples, between peoples' culture. In this way there is more understanding," said Efthemios Tsiknis, a Greek photojournalist who has visited China six times.

In the meantime, in the Italian capital Rome, a cultural exchange activity featuring the culture of the Silk Road was also held with an artistic performance on Friday.

The opening ceremony of the cultural exchange event, themed "Meeting Across Millennia: Cultural Interactions Along the Enchanting Silk Road", was attended by more than 700 guests from all walks of Italian life.

Lu Guangjin, director general of the Department of Human Rights of China's State Council Information Office, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, saying the friendship between the Chinese and Italian people becomes even firmer as time goes by.

The ancient Silk Road, once connecting Chang'an, an ancient Chinese capital, and Rome, is regaining its vitality in the new era, said Lu. He believes that this cultural exchange activity will further boost mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road.

Chinese Ambassador to Italy Li Junhua said that next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Italy, and the two sides will hold the Year of Culture and Tourism to further cement the people-to-people bonds.

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