Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli, visits an exhibition of ancient Chinese science and technology at Herakleidon museum just opposite the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece, Sept. 26, 2017. Pavlopoulos praised Sino-Greekties on Tuesday when he paid a visit to the exhibition.(Xinhua/Lefteris Partsalis)
By Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos praised Sino-Greek ties on Tuesday when he paid a visit to an exhibition of ancient Chinese science and technology at Herakleidon museum just opposite the Acropolis hill in Athens.
The exhibition "Ancient Chinese Science and Technology" is for the first time hosted in Greece as part of the Greece-China 2017 Year of Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation in Creative Industries.
From Sept. 23 until April 29, 2018, visitors of Herakleidon museum can have the chance to appreciate 90 exhibits from the China Museum of Science and Technology (CMST) in Beijing.
The Greek president toured the museum on Tuesday, and praised Chinese civilization's achievements in technology and science.
Speaking to Chinese Ambassador in Greece Zou Xiaoli and the museum's founder and president Paul Firos who welcomed him at the exhibition, he noted how impressed the Westerners were when they discovered Chinese civilization centuries ago.
"What one of the greatest Western philosophers at the time, Pascal said when China was discovered, is: I wonder who to believe, Moses or China," he said, referring to a classic remark made by 17th century French scientist and thinker Blaise Pascal.
On his part, Zou said when the Chinese studied in the 17th century western mathematics and geography originating from Greece, they also acquired valuable knowledge and furthered the development of science and technology.
The CMST exhibition hosted at the Athens museum covers disciplinary fields from mathematics, physics, chemistry and astronomy to agricultural science, medical science, pharmacy and engineering technology.
Through models visitors learn about pioneering Chinese inventions, such as the first seismograph (132 A.D.), ancient farming tools, the first wheelbarrow, which was constructed a century, approximately, before the equivalent European one, and many others.
The Greek president showed in particular interest in the demonstrations of paper making, printing, stamping, as well as in silk weaving, Dimitris Pappas, a Greek physicist who was his guide on Tuesday told Xinhua.
Pavlopoulos comes from Kalamata, a city in southern Greece, which has a long tradition in silk production in Greece.
When he received a model of a 3rd century BC Chinese loom from ambassador Zou on behalf of CMST the Greek president said he was moved.
He recalled how as a child he was watching his mother making fabrics before referring to the great prospects of the new Silk Road.
Greeks and Chinese created two of the most ancient and great civilizations in the history of mankind and today are working closer than ever efficiently in many sectors, the president noted.
"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," he stressed.
Under the agreement the two museums reached, from Nov. 1 to spring 2018 the 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.
"We believe that thanks to this exhibition the ties between the two countries will get stronger," Firos said presenting the Greek president with a commemorative plaque for his visit to the exhibition.
The Herakleidon Museum, a privately-funded and non-profit organization, 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.