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French Musician to Kick Off French Culture Year

A concert by French musician Jean Michel Jarre at the front gate of the Forbidden City will kick off the French Culture Year in China, Sunday, said a spokesperson of the municipal government of Beijing.

The Meridian Gate, or Wumen, has been closed for more than 10 days to prepare for the performance, said Wang Hui, spokesperson of the Beijing municipal government.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend, said the spokesperson.

People can also enjoy the concert through screen walls at Xidan, Wangfujing and Zhengyangmen, three downtown commercial or scenic areas.

During the performance, Jarre is expected to ride to Zhengyangmen by motorcycle, an ancient city gate of Beijing south of the Tiananmen Square, to entertain the audience there.

Wang said the performance by a famous Western artist in front of the Meridian Gate, a quintessential piece of classical Chinese architecture, is hoped to bring the ancient oriental culture of China and French art into close contact.

Alain Lombard, commissioner general of the French Culture Year, said that the performance should help Chinese people better understand France and French culture.

Jarre held a concert in Beijing in 1981. He was the first Western musician to play in China after the country shifted to a reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2004)

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