Everything set for Europalia Chinese Art Festival: general commissioner

15:55, October 05, 2009      

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General commissioner of the Europalia Chinese Art Festival said here on Sunday that everything is set for the art festival, and the only thing left is waiting for the opening ceremony.

Claire Kirschen told Xinhua in an interview at Galerie Ravenstein, that all the preparation for the art festival is finished and "there are no problems and only solutions."

The Europalia Chinese Art Festival will last four months from October 8, 2009 to February 14, 2010, closing with the Chinese New Year celebration.

About 50 exhibitions and 450 events will be held in more than 70 cities in Belgium and four neighboring countries, namely the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Germany. The exhibitions and art performances will follow four main themes: Immortal China, Contemporary China, Colorful China and China and the World.

In China, 19 provinces, cities and independent regions, 58 museums, libraries, archeological institutes and numerous public and private cultural institutions have contributed to the organization of the festival.

Kirschen said, that for the past three years, Europalia has been collaborating with the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China and its local partners.

Cooperation with partners from all levels is no easy job. Kirschen said: "We talked a lot with each other, sometimes we quarreled with each other, but we never stopped talking to each other. We could always discuss and come to a conclusion."

Talking about the financing of the big cultural event, Kirschen said that there are public sponsors for the art festival such as the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Belgium's national, regional and communities governments, and also sponsors from the private sectors, such as Bekaert, Total and Hainan Airlines, etc.

She said that the economic crisis may have an effect on the art festival but it's not big.

Kirschen said: "We have traditional partners which are very faithful to us. And we start before the crisis, so the damage is not too big."

"We don't have as large a budget as we wish, but I would say the financial scarcity in no way affect the program," she added.

As to the decision to choose China as the guest country, the commissioner said: "There was the Olympic games in 2008 and the Shanghai Expo in next year. And to put Europalia in between is a good idea."

"We have try to make it a wide-ranging festival, not only archeological exhibitions but also exhibitions which reflects the day to day life of the Chinese, their beliefs and how do they go to temples, how do they celebrate the new year," Kirschen said.

"It is not only an artistic festival and it not only reflects Chinese culture, but also Chinese civilization and Chinese way of thinking," she added.

Europalia was established in Brusses in 1969. It aimed at highlighting the culture of member states of the Euroepean Community, by organizing festivals of art and culture in the heart of Europe. In 1989, Europalia opened itself to Japan and in 1993, Mexico became the guest country. Russia was given the center stage in 2005.

The Europalia Chinese Art Festival will be closed on February 14, 2009 with the Chinese New Year celebration.

Source: Xinhua
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