2008-05-24 08:06:08 GMT 2008-05-24 16:06:08 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
ROME, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The biggest cultural festival China has ever staged in Italy, "Discover China," began in Rome Friday, showcasing China's culture to Italians.
The festival is the largest cultural event between Italy and China since the successful "Year of Italy" in China in 2006. At the opening ceremony, President of Foundation Music for Rome Gianni Borgna expressed deep condolences for the victims of China's recent mega-quake disaster.
As an ancient country currently undergoing massive economic and cultural changes, he said, China has a lot to show to the Italian audience. The festival will offer the Italian people a chance to know more about China through music, dance and other arts, he said.
Chinese Vice Culture Minister Chen Xiaoguang said that Italy and China are both ancient countries enjoying a long history and a rich culture, cultural exchanges have become an important part of Sino-Italian relations, pushing bilateral relations forward.
The music festival in Rome will show to the Italian audience China's rich art and culture through various performances, opening a window for Italians to know more about China, Chen said.
The festival will last till June 8, during which Chinese artists will present music, opera, drama, dance, martial arts, cooking, Chinese medicine and exhibitions.