Padre Matteo Ricci

The plenary session of the European Parliament opens in Strasbourg with an exhibition on Father Matteo Ricci, symbol of intercultural dialogue.

matteo ricci

The Mayor: "Father Matteo Ricci, symbol of the dialogue between civilizations, was the European ambassador to the Middle Kingdom. We are well aware that even today he is a key figure in relations between Europe and China. The exhibition organized by the Town Council in collaboration with the Centenary Committee provides a great occasion for furthering these relations."

Friday, 14th January, 2011.

  Monday 17th January, 2011 sees not only the opening of the first plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg but also of the exhibition "Meeting of Civilizations. Father Matteo Ricci, European ambassador to China of the Ming Dynasty."

  The exhibition was arranged by Macerata Town Council and the Committee for the Celebrations of the IV Centenary of the Death of Father Matteo Ricci under the auspices of Marco Scurria a European MP. Other collaborators were: the Marche Regional Council, Banca Marche, Fondazione Carima and the Ricci Institute of Macerata. The inauguration ceremony will take place on 18th January at 6.00.p.m. and will be attended by a delegation from Macaerata Town Council headed by the Mayor Romano Carancini and the Head of the Ricci Centenary Celebrations, Adriano Ciaffi.   Marco Scurria, David Sassoli and the Vice President of the European Commission Marco Tajani will also be present.

  The exhibition presents Ricci and his work as a model of fruitful intercultural relations, underlining its strongly European character and highlighting that first encounter between European and Chinese civilizations for which he was responsible both through his learning and through friendship. As a Jesuit missionary motivated by an evangelizing spirit, Ricci was the bearer of European human and scientific knowledge to the East but at the same time he brought information about "the other world of China" to the West.

  Faced as he was with the world of China, Ricci was the first in the modern age to put forward the idea of a geographically, politically, culturally and religiously united Europe similar to China itself. An idea very ahead of its time which is still both instructive and productive today and for the years to come.

  The trilingual exhibition, curated by Filippo Mignini, Director of the Macerata Ricci Institute for the Relations with the East, is an effective and concise reconstruction of Ricci's life and work   showing the first decisive meeting between the two civilizations from the year 1582 until Ricci's death in Peking in 1610. Besides works by Ricci himself and original documents regarding his education, there are also sixteenth century scientific instruments on show. Visitors can also admire Alberto Gorla's reproduction of Ricci's weight driven clock recently exhibited at Expo in Shanghai and the Universal Map of the World drawn by Ricci in Peking in 1602 as well as the edition of Ricci's   Chinese works included in 'Collezione di autori cristiani', published   by Ricci's friend and collaborator Li Zhizao (Peking 1629). Information on


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