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China-Greece Year of Culture and Tourism launched at foot of Athens Acropolis

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-18 15:50
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The China-Greece Year of Culture and Tourism opened on Thursday with a ceremony held at the foot of the Athens Acropolis, as officials of both sides expressed confidence in a stronger friendship and further cooperation between the two peoples.

The opening ceremony, attended by Greek and Chinese officials, was hosted inside the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora, the commercial, social and political hub of Athens in antiquity, providing a glimpse into the rich program of events to unfold in the coming months.

"Guided by the words of Lao Tzu 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step' and Socrates' saying 'the most valuable acquisition is a good friend,' I wish a good start and best success," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a video message, citing words of wisdom by the two ancient philosophers.

Greeks and Chinese will be offered several opportunities this year and the next to communicate and enhance collaboration through a series of exhibitions in museums on both sides, film screenings such as the first Greek-Chinese co-production, and many other events, he explained.

The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in his video message to the ceremony, adding that the cultural and tourism event will further help enhance mutual understanding, deepen traditional friendship and promote practical cooperation between the two countries.

"We highlight the past of our two countries, we shape the present together and we plan for the future," Greek Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni said at the event, outlining a program of planned cultural events and projects

"We treat our traditions with respect, recognizing that culture is the oxygen of our societies, but also the most convenient way for peoples to get closer to each other."

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