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China Arts Festival kicks off in Hangzhou
Updated: 2004-09-11 01:01

The triennial China Arts Festival, the country's top arts and culture gala, was unveiled in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang Province, Friday evening.

Some 4,500 audience were present at the grand opening ceremony, held in the Huanglong Sports Center Gymnasium of Hangzhou, the picturesque capital city of east China's booming coastal province of Zhejiang.

Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory message, urging artists of the country to "cater to the taste of the people " and "eulogize the spirit of our times".

The message was read out by Liu Yunshan, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the Publicity Department of CPC Central Committee, at the opening ceremony.

The 17-day arts festival, the seventh of its kind since 1987, is organized by China's Ministry of Culture and co-hosted by five major cities in Zhejiang, which also include Ningbo, Shaoxing, Jiaxing and Wenzhou.

During the festival, artists from all over the country, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, will present more than 100 dramas, musicals and traditional operas. Meanwhile, 24 arts exhibitions involving painting, photography, Chinese calligraphy and fashion design will also be held.

Eight foreign performance groups, including the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, were also invited to stage concerts, dance dramas and musicals during the festival.

The Seventh China Arts Festival is scheduled to conclude on Sept. 26.

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