By CCTV reporter Hu Chao
BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- The 10th China Arts Festival is underway in Shandong Province. For the first time ever the triennial event is introducing a Western classic art exhibition, which officially kicked off on Tuesday. More than 300 masterpieces are on show, among which a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci is creating quite a buzz.
It’s the debut of Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait in China, only the third country for it to appear outside Italy. This world art treasure arrived at the Shandong Museum in the provincial capital Jinan on Oct 8th, under the escort of Italian cultural officials.
"The self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci is unique, because it’s so precious and fragile. It’s not likely to be displayed frequently," the exhibition's art director Sanfo Vincenzo said. "We have brought it here to Jinan because I like China and eastern culture."
Visitors can also see works by Michelangelo, Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and many more. Altogether 354 works, including paintings, sculptures and ceramics are on display. They cover 500 years of history of western art from the 14th to the 20th century.
East China’s Shandong Province is the historic hometown of Confucius. Experts say it’s of special significance to hold such an exhibition here.
"This show has provided an opportunity for Chinese people to appreciate western Renaissance culture. It’s very meaningful for it to be held here in the hometown of Confucius, the most important philosopher in ancient China," said Pan Lusheng, dean of Shangdong University of Art and Design.
Since the exhibition’s soft opening on Oct 9th, visitors have been flooding in to take a look at these masterpieces. Due to its unexpected popularity, organizers have extended the exhibition to mid November.