Padre Matteo Ricci

Inauguration in Nanjing of the Exhibition "Matteo Ricci. Meeting of cultures in the China of the Ming"

un momento della cerimonia

In the morning the outlines of the area co-operation with the province of Jiangsu were presented along with the Agreement for the cultural project entitled "Perceiving Jiangsu". The events which will take place in Macerata at the end of June were also publicized.

Wednesday 3rd June

  The exhibition is under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities. The Curator is Filippo Mignini, Director of the Matteo Ricci Institute for Relations with the East.

 Present at the inauguration were Gian Mario Spacca, President of the Marche Regional Council, Romano Carancini, Mayor of Macerata, Franco Capponi, President of the Provincial Council, Massimo Roscigno, the Italian Consul, Barbara Alighiero, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Beijing, Shui Heping, Vice Governor of the Province of Jiangsu and Huang Lu Min, Curator of the Nanjing Museum.

 The exhibition retraces the life of Matteo Ricci who, at the close of the Ming dynasty, was the first man to build a cultural bridge between the West and China.

 The exhibition will remain in the prestigious Nanjing Museum until 25th July, when it will move to Macao for the last stage of the exhibition programme.

According to the Curator of the Exhibition, the Nanjing stage is fundamental as regards Matteo Ricci's travels in China. Here he taught mathematics and astronomy as well as collaborating with the mathematicians of the astronomy observatory. In this observatory were preserved wonderful astronomical instruments which he thought must have been made three centuries earlier for another location since they are calibrated for a latitude of 36° which does not correspond to that of Nanjing.

  There are 200 works being shown in the exhibition alongside those also exhibited in Beijing and Shanghai during the first two stages of the programme. The works have been lent by the most important museums in Italy and China and focus mainly on aspects of Ricci's stay in Nanjing.   Visitors can admire documents and scientific instruments, books and manuscripts including Astronomicum Caesareum by P. Apianus and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius, a copy of which Ricci gave to the Emperor. Also on show are the following:   Humani Corporis Fabrica by Vesalius, the Antwerp Polyglot Bible, scores of precious fifteenth century writings, decorative book bindings, copper plate engravings, scale models of ancient and Renaissance Rome, musical instruments, machines in the style of Leonardo da Vinci and mechanical devices, mechanisms for measuring time and space as well as pieces of late Renaissance furnishings and the famous tapestries woven from cartoons by Raphael, currently preserved in the Galleria Nazionale in Urbino. The idea was to recreate the setting typical of Italian sixteenth century palaces. Also exhibited are masterpieces by the Italian Renaissance painters, Raphael, Titian, Lotto and Barocci being shown for the first time in China alongside precious documents on the art and culture of the Ming Empire.

 A fter the ceremony and a visit to the exhibition there was a performance of the Sant'Elpidio flag throwers which was much appreciated by the public.

PHOTOGALLERY: Opening Ceremony - Nanjing, 3rd July 2010


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