The French painting exhibition held at Beijing's National Museum of China showcases 10 masterpieces from five French museums. [Photo by Huang Xiaobing/China Daily]
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Francois Hollande have written a preface for a French painting exhibition held at Beijing's National Museum of China, according to an official news release.
The exhibition, which showcases 10 masterpieces drawn from five French museums and runs from April 11 to June 15, marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France.
The French museums include the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre, the Palace of Versailles, the Orsay Museum and the Picasso Museum.
Xi said in the preface that China and France enjoy profound histories, and the lessons the two civilizations have learned from each other have contributed to their friendship.
He said exchanges between museums have played an important role in bilateral cultural cooperation.
The exhibition will help museum-goers appreciate the power of art and the two peoples' exploration of the human spirit, Xi believes.
"Cultural exchanges are an important driving force for the progress of human civilization as well as world peace and development," he wrote, wishing the show every success.
In his preface, Hollande said the paintings will guide more Chinese to understand France and bilateral relations.
Pablo Picasso's Reading the Letter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Dance at Le moulin de la Galette and The Swing, and seven other works, are on display in China for the first time.
China and France established diplomatic relations in 1964, making France the first major Western power to recognize the People's Republic of China.
The two countries are scheduled to host more than 300 events to mark half a century of ties, ranging from art exhibitions, performances, roundtable mayoral meetings, and sports and academic competitions between high school students.
If you go:
National Museum of China
16 East Chang'an Avenue, Dongcheng district, Beijing
9 am-5 pm, until June 15.
30 yuan ($4.8)