People visit the exhibition "Ancient Chinese Science and Technology" held at Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece on Sept. 21, 2017. An exhibition of ancient Chinese science and technology which is hosted in Greece for the first time was inaugurated at Herakleidon museum opposite the Acropolis hill in Athens on Thursday. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
by Alexia Vlachou, Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua)-- An exhibition of ancient Chinese science and technology which is hosted in Greece for the first time was inaugurated at Herakleidon museum opposite the Acropolis hill in Athens on Thursday.
The exhibition "Ancient Chinese Science and Technology" is held in the context of the 2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges and Culture Industry Cooperation under the auspices of the Greek ministries of culture, education and foreign affairs, and the support of the Chinese Culture Ministry and the Chinese embassy in Greece and the Greek-Chinese Chamber.
"It is an honor and encouragement for cultural and technological exchanges between our two friendly countries," Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli said, addressing the opening ceremony.
Referring to the "Belt and Road Initiative", General Director of China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, Yin Hao said that the exhibition will enhance the mutual understanding of the two nations.
"The cooperation between China and other countries does not only focus on business and economy, but also on the field of culture and science," he said.
During the ceremony which was attended by many dignitaries, General Secretary of the Greek Presidency Ambassador Yorgos Gennimatas read a message by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, praising Sino-Greek friendship and cooperation.
"I wish and I hope that the great dynamic of Sino-Greek relations today will further continue and develop also in the field of culture. Exhibitions like this, as well as the one which will follow in Beijing, are showing the way," the president's message said.
From Sept. 23 until April 29, 2018, visitors of the two buildings of Museum Herakleidon near the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis will have the opportunity to admire 90 exhibits from the China Science and Technology Museum.
Under the agreement of the two museums, from this November to spring 2018, the China Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) will host the exhibition "EUREKA. Science, Art and Technology of the Ancient Greeks", organized by the Museum Herakleidon in collaboration with the Association for the Study of Ancient Greek Technology.
"I believe that the holding of ancient science and technology exhibitions in each other's country will inspire more people, especially the young, scientific pursuit and the desire and passion for innovation," Zou stressed during his speech.
The Chinese audience will be the first to see the EUREKA exhibition which will be then hosted at Herakleidon museum for Greeks to see.
The current exhibition at Herakleidon museum will introduce to the Greek public some of the remarkable technological achievements of the Chinese civilization covering nearly all disciplinary fields, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geoscience, biology, agricultural science, medical science, pharmacy and engineering technology.
Through models visitors will have the chance to get acquainted with pioneering Chinese inventions, such as the first seismograph, ancient farming tools and many others.
Moreover, they will be able to watch special demonstrations of the papermaking and printing processes, as well as weaving techniques.
"This exhibition is presented for the first time in Greece and through this exhibition we hope that Greek people will understand Chinese tradition and technology and have a better image of China," Yang Jun, senior engineer of Ancient Science and Technology Exhibition Department/CSTM told Xinhua.
"We are now enjoying all the achievements that the ancient Chinese have brought to the world, and many of them are in our museum now," Anna Belinda Firos, co-founder of the Herakleidon museum said a few hours before the opening ceremony.
"The ancient Greek technology will be at the museum in Beijing as of Nov. 1 and the Chinese people will in their turn be able to learn more about ancient Greek thought and technology, science etc," she told Xinhua, underlining the significance of the celebration of the 2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges.
"We hope that this will bring our two nations closer together. The ideas and the civilization of each nation are very important in showing exactly how people think and when you understand how another nation thinks, it brings you closer to them and hopefully down the road peace in the world," she said.
Paul Firos, founder and president of Herakleidon museum, underlined when speaking to Xinhua before the event, how the Greek and Chinese despite the geographical distance offered the world similar discoveries and ideas.
"As far away as our two civilizations were, we discovered common things that we both developed more or less at the same time," he noted.
The Herakleidon Museum has been bringing art, education, and culture to the Greek public since 2004. Based on its philosophy of Science, Art and Mathematics, it provides educational programs for students, teachers and adults as well as exhibitions of art and science.