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Ten masterpieces of French painting on view at China's National Museum in Beijing
A woman takes a photo of the painting "The Matador" by Pablo Picasso on display at the "Ten Masterpieces of French National Museums" exhibition held in the National Museum of China on April 11, 2014. An exhibition at China's National Museum in Beijing of 10 artistic masterpieces from France was inaugurated on April 11 under heavy security, for a show featuring a billion dollars' worth of art. AFP PHOTO / MANDY WANG.
BEIJING.- The exhibition of Ten Masterpieces of French Painting jointly organized by the National Museum of China and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais had a grand opening ceremony in the West Hall of NMC on April 11, 2014. The exhibition is staged to commemorate the 50th founding anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and France and mark the opening of the ninth art festival Sino-French Culture Spring.

At the opening ceremony, French ambassador to China Bermann, President of the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais Jean-Paul Cluzel, and Director of NMC Lu Zhangshen respectively delivered a speech. The Curator for the exhibition Ms. Cécile Maisonneuve, Mr. Vincent Pomarède , Director of the Oil Painting Department of the Musée du Louvre, Mr. Côme Fabre, Director of the Oil Painting Department of the Musée d’Orsay, Ms. Valérie Bajou, Director of the Oil Painting Department of the Château de Versailles, Song Xinchao, Deputy Director of State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Director-General of Chinese Museums Association, Jin Shangyi, Honorary Chairman of Chinese Artists Association, Zhao Jinjun, President of China Foreign Affairs and former Chinese Ambassador to France, Le Aimei, Counselor from the Party Committee of the Organs under the Foreign Ministry, Pu Tong, Party Secretary and Deputy Director of External Cultural Relations Bureau under the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, Ji Tianbin, Party Secretary and Vice Director of Palace Museum, Fan Di’an, Director of National Art Museum of China, Guo Xiaoling, Director of the Capital Museum, Huang Zhenchun, Party Secretary and Deputy Director of NMC, and Zhu Liying, Deputy Director of the General Affairs Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the opening ceremony. Also present at the opening ceremony were officials from foreign embassies in China and experts of the museum and art communities from home and abroad. The ceremony was hosted by Chen Lusheng, deputy director of NMC.

French ambassador to China, Ms. Bermann, noted in her speech that she felt honored to see the NMC hosted the “Exhibition of Masterpieces of French Painting” after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s successful visit to France. This exhibition commemorating the 50th founding anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and France and opening the ninth art festival Sino-French Culture Spring plays an especially important role in the 50th anniversary celebrations. The two cultural powers, France and China have been all along exploring the boundless potentials of mankind by means of art and the like. The two sides also conduct multiple exchanges at the art festival “Sino-French Culture Spring”, the biggest cultural festival in the world. She said she is very delighted to see the exhibition worthy of the splendid National Museum of China staged at the museum and she hopes that via this exhibition many more Chinese people will view the precious works of art from renowned museums of France.

President of the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais Jean-Paul Cluzel indicated that this exhibition was a commission of the French President Francois Hollande, French foreign minister and French cultural minister. The ten masterpieces on exhibition are on loan from the five famous museums, namely, the Musée du Louvre, Château de Versailles, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Picasso and Centre Pompidou, musée national d’Art moderne, which reflect the relentless pursuit and exploration of art by the artists from both countries.

Director Lu Zhangshen pointed out in his speech that the Exhibition of Ten Masterpieces of French Painting jointly organized by NMC and Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais with a view of displaying the achievements made in Sino-French cultural communication over the years at the 50th Founding Anniversary of Sino-French Diplomatic Ties, is a great event of friendly cooperation in the museum community between China and France and a bounty gift from the Sino-French museum community for the 50th founding anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. It is bound to be entered into the history of cultural communication between the two countries.

The exhibits are ten masterpieces of painting from the Musée du Louvre, Château de Versailles, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Picasso and Centre Pompidou, musée national d’Art moderne. It is the first ever joint exhibition of the five renowned museums. Each work of art not only carries historical significance about the time of its creation, reflective of then emblematic art trends and features, but also recounts one or many a stories behind it, spanning the works themselves, the artists and what the artists intend to convey through the works. Such a concentrated display of the national-level treasure paintings of France for viewers of China and the world at large fully reflects the friendship between China and France, and represents the glorious fruits of Sino-French cultural communication over the past five decades.



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