CURITIBA, Brazil, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- An imposing bronze statue of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius was unveiled on Saturday in Curitiba, capital of Brazil's southern state of Parana, as a gift from the Chinese government.
City officials inaugurated the statue at China Plaza, the city's civic center, at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Curitiba Biennial, Latin America's largest showcase of contemporary art.
Designed by Chinese artist Wu Weishan, the statue, which is nearly three meters tall and weighs some 1.2 tons, arrived in Brazil along with other artworks to be exhibited at the biennial.
Wu is a leading Chinese artist and proponent of expressive sculpture, whose works have been shown in more than 20 countries.
The statue "reflects the Brazilian people's affection for Chinese culture, and their support and enthusiasm for cultural exchanges between the two countries," said Li Jinzhang, China's ambassador to Brazil, adding that it also "shows the Brazilian culture's spirit of openness and tolerance."
Curitiba Mayor Rafael Greca noted that China's presence here goes back to the first half of the 20th century, "when several pioneering families arrived" from China.
Today, "at a time when China has opened its eyes to Curitiba, we want this statue and this plaza to be a gateway to friendship, trade, and cultural and humanitarian exchanges," said Greca.
Brazilian Culture Minister Sergio Sa Leitao and China's Consul General in Sao Paulo Chen Peijie also attended the ceremony.
To be concluded on Feb. 25, 2018, the 2017 Curitiba Biennial has gathered artworks from 43 countries and is expected to attract some 1 million visitors. The event first began 24 years ago.