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From 21 to 22 December 2021, with support from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Palace Museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (IESL-FORTH) jointly launched the Joint Laboratory Construction and held the opening ceremony of the China-Greece Symposium on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology at the Palace Museum.
Chinese Representatives at the Launching Ceremony
The China-Greece Joint Laboratory Construction on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology is designed to implement the spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative as a response to the Belt and Road Science, Technology, and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan. With the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Palace Museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas jointly applied for and were approved to build the China-Greece Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology, which aims to construct an international platform for multidisciplinary collaborative innovation and resource sharing. As a supporting institution, the Palace Museum actively cooperated with eleven scientific research institutions and museums from China and Greece to participate in the establishment of the Joint Laboratory and organized the special symposium on the establishment and development of the Joint Laboratory before the launching ceremony for the joint project. At the ceremony, Deputy-director Lou Wei on behalf of the Palace Museum signed a joint establishment agreement with the participating Chinese institutes, and Director Wang Xudong issued a letter of appointment to the academic committee members in Beijing.
Honored guests from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China and from the participating institutions attended the launching ceremony in person or via livestream. Guests from Greece and outside Beijing joined the meeting by video livestream. Zhao Guoying, deputy-director of the Palace Museum and head of the Joint Laboratory, hosted the ceremony.
Wang Xudong, member of the leading Party group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and director of the Palace Museum, represented the Joint Laboratory’s supporting organization to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas for their strong support and stressed the importance of maintaining the principle of allowing necessity to serve as a guide, of revolving around the shared problems of Chinese and Greek cultural heritage preservation, and of fully utilizing each institutions’ strengths while expanding innovative multidisciplinary cooperation, solving real problems in the field of cultural preservation, addressing important industry perspectives in scientific research, promoting the transformation and sharing of results, supporting high-quality sustainable development in the field, and contributing to the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Director Wang Xudong
Dai Gang, director of the International Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Science and Technology, fully affirmed the results of the cooperation between the Palace Museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser and noted how the Joint Laboratory is a pioneering institution of Sino-Hellenic cooperation in the fields of cultural heritage science and technology. He emphasized the need to remain focused on constructing a common destiny for humanity, to protect perspectives in the historical development of science and civilization, and to develop joint research and projects while maintaining the principle of openness, building a network of cooperation, strengthening research exchanges, developing high-quality research, and making advancements in the field.
Director Dai Gang
Li Wei, first-rank inspector of the Division of Science and Technology Education in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, stated how the Joint Laboratory is important for supporting the development of science and technology in the fields of culture and tourism and for advancing Sino-Hellenic exchange and cooperation. She expressed her hope for the Joint Laboratory to fully utilize the resources of the two countries with ancient civilizations and to complement each other while improving the two countries’ application and development of cultural heritage innovation, realizing shared success in the cooperative efforts, and striving to construct the Laboratory as a model for quality international cooperation and resource sharing.
Inspector Li Wei
Athanasios Kyriazis, secretary of the Greek government’s General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI), noted how the people of China and Greece have a long history of exchange and friendship and that the preservation and utilization of cultural heritage is important for the two countries’ economic development and cooperation. He expressed how Greece will continue to strengthen the government’s investment in cultural heritage preservation research, improve public awareness, advance technological innovation, and increase policy coordination for cooperation with China while further developing cooperation and exchange in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Secretary Athanasios Kyriazis
Nektarios Tavernarakis, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, shared that the application of innovative technology, multidisciplinary exchange, and interdisciplinary cooperation is crucial to cultural preservation and propagation. He shared how the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser has laid a solid research foundation in the field of laser cleaning of cultural relics and how the cooperation with the Palace Museum initiated in 2016 has already seen great success. He said the Joint Laboratory is facilitating a broader platform for deeper Sino-Hellenic exchange in the field of cultural preservation technology and shared his hopes for closer cooperative ties with China in this field.
Chairman Nektarios Tavernarakis
At the end of the ceremony, with guests from both sides serving as witnesses, Director Wang Xudong and Director Dai Gang lit a button symbolizing the start of joint development. The launching ceremony of the joint project marked an important, concrete step in the construction of the Joint Laboratory. In the future, focus will be placed on the Laboratory strengthening its own development and carrying out key research on technology and equipment, application research, the transformation of results, and training of talents while adding to the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
After the launching ceremony, the two-day 2021 China-Greece Symposium on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology officially opened at the Palace Museum. Fourteen scholars from China, Greece, and other countries focused on the topics “Laser Cleaning and Laser Spectrum Analysis”, “Multidisciplinary Collaborative Archaeology and Metal Conservation”, “X-ray and Spectral Imaging Techniques for Cultural Relics”, and “Protection of Cultural Heritage via Informatization and Digitalization” to discuss and exchange perspectives both online and offline.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu