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China and Italy renew a chapter for cultural exchanges

Date:2020-02-03 17:56:30 Source:People Daily Overseas Author:Cultural Exchange Organization

On February 21st, the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism 2020 kicked off at the Auditorium Parco della Musica amid a joyful orchestral melody of the Spring Festival Overture.
A total of 12 dazzling songs have been staged at the opening concert by China National Symphony Orchestra and Italian Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. “The lento part of the Spring Festival Overture reminded me of the hot dumplings on table. While Italy features profound food culture as well, the music also awakens the memories of traditional food in its culture.” said Li Xincao, deputy head of China National Symphony Orchestra, who introduced the purpose of the Spring Festival Overture as the first song of the opening concert. 
In addition to the similarity in food culture, The Same Moonlight, as a dialogue between folk instruments that integrates traditional Chinese instrument Pipa (a plucked four-string lute) and Italian mandolin, implies that the two countries are under the same Moonlight despite different locations. The folk music and symphony, Silk Road, tells the history of exchanges from the ancient silk road to Belt and Road. Besides, some other selected songs, such as Paganini’s First Violin Concerto, have also demonstrated that the two ancient civilizations resonate in culture.  
“It is a fascinating episode of two civilizations illuminating each other and renewing a chapter for ancient exchanges to host the year of culture and tourism, as well as a future-oriented declaration of cultural exchanges, mutual learning and integration that will set an example for the diversity of civilizations” said Zheng Hao, deputy head of the Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. 
As the year of 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Italy, the China-Italy Year of Culture and Tourism 2020 has been a large-scale groundbreaking event under the theme of “the integration of culture and tourism” in the history of friendly exchanges between China and Italy. With the support from both sides, they will introduce more than one hundred colorful and diverse programs throughout the whole year, ranging from performing arts, visual art, cultural heritage, tourism to creative design.
In performing arts, China National Traditional Orchestra, China National Opera House and Beijing People’s Art Theater will march to Italy to showcase traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts. In visual art,. a Chinese paper-art exhibition under the theme of “The Splendid Languages of Paper-Contemporary Art on Chinese Paper-making Culture” by Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and National Archeological Museum of Naples, and the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture will be staged in the future. In cultural heritage, the Palace Museum and the National Museum of China will host exhibitions from Italy, while Chinese Terracotta Warriors will be scheduled to march to Italy by Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration and Royal Palace of Caserta. Moreover, both sides will also advance practical cooperation by twinning other world heritage sites. In tourism, China will hold theme tourism promotions in Italy besides the China-Italy Tourism Cooperation Forum during its opening, and participate in the Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism 2020.
“Since the establishment of China-Italy mechanism for cultural cooperation in 2016, both sides have strengthened dialogues on policies and planned for the guidance on deepening exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture and tourism with rich results. In 2020, the two sides will give full play to the fruits of exchange and cooperation by virtue of the promotion of rich cultural and tourism resources in two countries, guide the direction of the development of cooperation and promote the development of economy and society, thus injecting impetus and vitality to bilateral ties.” said Zheng Hao. 
Currently, China and Italy have made important strides in cultural cooperation, including long-term exhibitions at each other’s national museums and the twinning of UNESCO World Heritage sites. In 2019, Italy returned 796 artifacts to China. Lica Ferrai, Italian ambassador to China, gave full recognition to the favorable foundation and prospect in cultural and tourism cooperation between China and Italy. He expressed that the Chinese citizens applying for a visa to Italy have increased by 20% compared to the previous year. In 2020, the number of direct flights between two countries will surge from 56 to 174, making it a country with the largest number of direct flights between China and Europe. 

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