27 February, 2008
Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis held a meeting in Beijing with Chinese Deputy Culture Minister and President of the Cultural Heritage Protection Authority Jixiang Shan on Tuesday, while a cooperation memorandum was signed between the two countries during the meeting to crack down on antiquities smuggling.
Following a proposal made by Liapis, it was agreed that a wider initiative must be assumed between countries harmed by antiquities smuggling on the claiming and returning of cultural goods exported illegally.
A bilateral committee of experts will be set up immediately for this purpose, and it will consider specific proposals on the implementation of this policy.
The Chinese deputy minister requested cooperation from Greece on the safeguarding of cultural heritage, the preservation of antiquities, the utilization of Greek expertise for the creation of the necessary legislative framework for confronting antiquities smuggling, the training of archaeologists, and the cooperation of Greek archaeologists in Chinese excavations.
Liapis accepted the requests and agreed to their implementation in the framework of cooperation between the two ministries.
Chinese Culture Minister Jiazhen Sun hosted a working luncheon for his Greek counterpart at noon.
Liapis then inaugurated the exhibition on the New Acropolis Museum at the Greek Home in Beijing, where rich audiovisual material is being displayed regarding the new museum's planning and construction. A replica of the Parthenon's Western Frieze is also on display.
Source: Athens News Agency