4th Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival opens in Quanzhou

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The 4th Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival kicks off with a grand opening ceremony in the coastal city of Quanzhou, east China's Fujian province, on Nov. 22, 2019. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]

The 4th Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival kicked off with a grand opening ceremony in the coastal city of Quanzhou, east China's Fujian province, on Friday, drawing more than 1,500 artists, experts, scholars, and guests from over 50 countries and regions.

Themed "Colorful Maritime Silk Road and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations," the festival features arts performances, forums on artistic development, exhibitions of international intangible cultural heritages related to the Maritime Silk Road, and an online festival.

At the opening ceremony, Kang Tao, secretary of the CPC Quanzhou Municipal Committee, said Quanzhou is the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and is reputed as a "living fossil" of the ancient route.

He said, the festival, held for the fourth time, has gained growing international influence, and offered a platform for dialogues, arts exhibitions, and exchanges among people from the countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road.

Liang Jianyong, director of the Fujian Provincial Department of Publicity, said, "For hundreds of years, Quanzhou has thrived as an important port city, and provided a perfect place for vibrant cultural integration and people-to-people exchanges."

"After fives years of development, the festival has grown and seen greater influence, offering a platform for sharing cultural fruits and promoting cultural cooperation," said Wang Xudong, director of the Palace Museum. "The host city Quanzhou will continue to contribute to the building of the Belt and Road."

Highlights of the star-studded opening ceremony included a Chinese opera titled the "Promise of the Ocean," to demonstrate the pioneering spirit of the Quanzhou people.

The opening ceremony also showcased the city's time-honored cultural heritages, such as puppetry shows and?Nanyin music?- one of China's oldest musical performing art forms which was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.

Since its inception in 2014, the biennial festival is hosted by the Chinese Culture and Tourism Ministry and Fujian provincial government, and organized by the Fujian provincial culture and tourism department and Quanzhou municipal government.

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