Greek Deputy Minister of Culture Angela Gerekou speakes at the opening ceremony of an exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Porcelian Art entitled "The New Silk Road" in Athens on Dec 15, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
For the first time in Greece the Museum of Asian Art at the Ionian Sea island of Corfu hosts over the next six months an impressive exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art entitled "The New Silk Road."
The temporary exhibition which includes 60 masterpieces by 30 artists will be open to visitors from Dec. 17, 2014 until May 16, 2015.
The items which will be on display are unique examples of the works of artists representing the Ceramic Institute of Jingdezhen, the famous capital of Chinese porcelain throughout the centuries, as well as the Master Alliance of Art Ceramic in China.
Ahead of the grand opening in Corfu the exhibition was inaugurated on Monday in Athens in the presence of Greek and Chinese officials.
Addressing the ceremony held at an Athens hotel Greek Deputy Minister of Culture Angela Gerekou welcomed with honor and great joy an "unprecedented" cultural event in Greece.
The Greek official expressed confidence that the exhibition held at her homeland Corfu in the context of the new Silk Road will help further strengthen bilateral ties, as the ancient Silk Road helped foster trade, economic and cultural cooperation in the past.
"For us the new Silk Road is extremely significant. It will help deepen our relations. Each cultural event, such as today's event, brings us closer," Gerekou told Xinhua.
She appeared certain that the exhibition will also attract more visitors to the Corfu Asian Art Museum which is regarded as one of the most important of its kind across Europe.
"Our collection includes artworks of great artistic value which can be compared to the collection of the British Museum," the exhibition's curator Despina Zernioti, Director of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, explained to Xinhua.
The Corfu Museum of Asian Art, the only one of its kind in Greece, solely dedicated to the art and antiquities of the Far East and India, was founded in 1928 as the Museum of Sino-Japanese Art.
Since then, the museum has been a pole of attraction for many donations, resulting in its collection currently comprising approximately 15,000 works of Asian art.
The Museum's Chinese collection includes pieces of pottery, porcelain, brass works of art, sculpture, clothing, coins, etc.
"The New Silk Road" exhibition of contemporary ceramics put on display next to artworks of the 17th or 19th century AD, according to Zernioti, will help demonstrate to visitors the timelessness of Chinese ceramic art and civilization. This is the new element that the exhibition adds to the Museum's work.
The goal is to reveal to visitors the social and cultural environment which gave birth to such masterpieces.
From antiquity Chinese porcelain is interwoven with beauty, rarity and luxury. Known also as the White Gold this major invention of Chinese civilization had a significant impact on the art of pottery worldwide.
"The porcelain reveals a part of Chinese people's soul," Consul General of Greece in Shanghai Evgenios Kalpyris told the audience on Monday.
He expressed optimism that the exhibition which is co-organized by the Consulate General of Greece in Shanghai, will enhance the understanding between the two countries and people.
"The New Silk Road" collection has been exhibited with great success in 2012 at the Louvres Museum in Paris for first time and in 2013 at the Fitzwilliam Museum of the Cambridge University.
For Greece it is an honor and a success that Corfu's Museum of Asian Art was chosen to host the exhibition next in line, Zernioti said.
The Greek side hopes that the exhibition will be the starting point for several significant projects of bilateral culture exchanges in the future.
Zernioti would like to host at Corfu's Museum more exhibitions of works of Chinese masters of porcelain, as well as contemporary painters, she told Xinhua.