Greece and China Strengthen Cooperation in Field of Culture
Greece and China pledged to strengthen their cultural collaboration with the renewal and expansion of a cooperation agreement connected to underwater cultural heritage.
The renewal agreement, which encourages scientific cooperation and joint underwater archaeological research, was signed during a meeting between Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and Chinese Tourism and Culture Minister Hu Heping, as part of the latter’s official visit to Greece.
During their meeting, the ministers also discussed the progress of the Piraeus Underwater Antiquities Museum project, which is planned to be housed in a silo on the port of Piraeus.
The project has a budget of 100 million euros, with financing secured by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund.
In addition to the museum project, the two ministers discussed other aspects of cultural collaboration that had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes the Greece-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2023 that had many joint actions scheduled but did not take place.
However, Greek and Chinese ministries, museums and cultural organizations have already planned joint cultural actions expected to run from Q3 2023 to 2025.
“Our countries’ relations are based on a mutual respect for the ancient and particularly important cultures our people developed. The Chinese side’s proposal to run the ‘Cultural Dialogue‘ scheme every two years, which didn’t run in 2021 and 2022 due to covid restrictions, can only have positive results,” said Mendoni.
On his part, Minister Hu Heping underlined that Greece and China are ancient civilizations that share common features.
“We have to make more efforts to collaborate, and the best way is to further develop our cultural relations,” he said.
The two ministers also discussed the expansion of cooperation in confronting illegal trafficking and repatriating stolen artifacts, with the organization of a joint scientific conference in the framework of the Ancient Civilizations Forum.
In addition, they discussed the exchange of expertise in the fields of antiquities conservation and restoration.