China to publish standard portrait of Confucius
www.chinaview.cn 2006-06-13 19:04:00

The China Confucius Foundation (CCF) is to publish a standard portrait of the ancient philosopher in September in order to give him a single, recognizable identity around the world.

The China Confucius Foundation (CCF) is to publish a standard portrait of the ancient philosopher in September in order to give him a single, recognizable identity around the world.

    JINAN, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The China Confucius Foundation (CCF) is to publish a standard portrait of the ancient philosopher in September in order to give him a single, recognizable identity around the world.

    The CCF unveiled a draft sculpture of Confucius on Tuesday in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province, to solicit suggestions for the final version of the portrait.

    "A symbol of Chinese history and culture, Confucius is widely known around the world. A standard portrait is needed so that different countries could have the same image of him," said CCF general secretary Zhang Shuhua.

    The sculpture depicts Confucius as an old man with a long beard, broad mouth and big ears. He wears a robe and crosses his hands on his chest.

    The draft, based on the painting of Confucius by Wu Daozi of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), was created with advice from Confucian scholars, historians, artists and his descendants.

    The new portrait would set the standard criteria for the image of Confucius, who had been represented in different ways when Chinese were presenting statues in foreign countries, said Zhang.

    Professor Hu Xijia, a member of the sculpture design group, said, "We want to show a Confucius that exists in people's minds, who is a kind, sagacious and respectful person."

    Hu's group started the work in January and he said they were open to good suggestions from anywhere in the world.

    Relief sculptures and portraits will be produced according to the finished sculpture. The final image is scheduled to be disclosed in September at the commemoration of the 2,557th anniversary of his birth.

    Confucius was the founder of Confucianism, which advocates the building of a harmonious society through an individual's self-refinement in manners and taste. It was promulgated by Chinese rulers since the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25) and spread into east and south Asia.

    Confucianism dominated Chinese society for centuries, and spread to Europe in the late 16th century.

    Born in 551 B.C., Confucius, a great thinker, philosopher, statesman and educator, has more than 3 million descendants with Qufu in Shandong Province as the main concentration area, according to latest statistics.

    There are 2.5 million descendants of Confucius on the Chinese mainland, 100,000 in the Republic of Korea, and many also in the United States, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Regarding Confucius as an outstanding educator, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last year named an international prize after him, or the Confucius Literacy Prize, to honor individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to education.

    And in an effort to promote Chinese language and culture abroad, China has planned to set up 100 "Confucius Institutes" around the world to help foreigners learn Chinese.

    Scholars and believers around the world commemorate Confucius' birth at his hometown in Qufu every year to preserve the Confucian spirit of benevolence and honor.

    Many scholars argued that research on the contemporary value of Confucianism would be conducive to the building of a harmonious society in China. Enditem

Editor: Yang Lei
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