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Seventh Asia Arts Festival to Open in Foshan

Performance art troupes from 20 Asian countries and regions will provide an entertainment feast at the end of the year in this southern city of Foshan, Guangdong Province.

Co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and Guangdong provincial government, the Seventh Asia Arts Festival will be held in Foshan, one of the economically dynamic cities in the province.

Eminent Chinese professional, folk artists and ordinary local citizens will join foreign artists during the seven-day event in November.

A total of 25 performances will be held in the theaters, squares and major streets in the city's five districts.

Different from the previous six festivals, this year's event will mainly focus on the development of traditional culture in south China.

"We will invite more overseas artists from those countries and regions that have established close economic and cultural relationships with Guangdong," said Cao Chunliang, director of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Culture, at a press conference held in the city.

Priority will be given to the artists from China's Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and those countries and regions which have rarely attended the previous festivals.

"The festival is a 'banquet' of the arts in Asia, and it is also a good chance for both cultural and economic communication, especially helpful to us in the drive to build a more cultural province in the coming years," said Cao.

Prior to the opening of the festival, the Asia Arts Park with an area covering about 40 hectares, and the Asia Arts Memorial Sculpture will be completed in Foshan.

In addition, the Asian Ministers Forum of Culture will also be held during the festival, with the theme of how to better protect and further develop the regional arts and culture.

"The Asian countries and regions have contributed much to the world's cultural development. However, they are facing the common problem of how to protect and develop their unique culture," he continued.

As a result, participants from the countries and regions will also sign the Foshan Manifesto after the forum, which, said Cao, will promote arts and cultural exchanges among countries and regions in Asia.

Since 1998 when it was first held in Beijing, the annual festival has attracted more than 110 arts troupes from more than 20 countries and regions in Asia and has become one of the most important events for arts exchanges in the region, sources with the bureau said.

(China Daily March 3, 2005)


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