Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis has just opened an exhibition on the New Acropolis Museum in China. He is also discussing with officials there, issues relating to the smuggling of ancient artefacts – a problem that affects both countries.
Athens News Agency 
Liapis in China
Greek 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. A cooperation memorandum was signed between the two countries during the meeting on cracking 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, that will consider specific proposals on the implementation of this policy.
The Chinese deputy minister requested from Greece cooperation on safeguarding cultural heritage, the preservation of antiquities, the utilisation of Greek expertise for the creation of the necessary legislative framework for confronting antiquities smuggling, the training of archaeologists and cooperation by Greek archaeologists in Chinese excavations.
Liapis accepted the requests and agreed to their implementation in the framework of cooperation between the two ministries that is upgraded now.
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.
CCTV (China) 
Greece culture year continues
Just a few days after the end of the Spring Festival holidays, the Culture Year of Greece in China has returned to Beijing.
The exhibition at Hellenic House gave people in Beijing a preview of the new museum in Athens. The museum was constructed to house the famous exhibits from the site of the Acropolis, Athens’ most famous landmark. Visitors are able to see cast copies of the west frieze of the Acropolis, as well as the Parthenon, and a photographic presentation of the New Acropolis Museum.
There’s also a scale model of the museum’s “Parthenon Gallery.” The Gallery will house the original blocks of the frieze and other elements of the architectural decoration of the Parthenon. The new museum in Athens will be fully opened by late 2008.
Another remarkable event this week debuts a contemporary adaptation of an ancient comedy, by Aristophanes. “The Birds,” is to open at Beijing’s National Grand Theatre.
The Birds originally was staged nearly 25 hundred years ago, shaping a Utopian ideal of a city comprised of men and birds.
The contemporary adaptation, staged for the first time 47 years ago is considered a digest of Modern Greek culture and a benchmark in Modern Greek cultural history. It is considered the most successful post-war Greek drama to travel the world.
Greek Minister of Culture Mihalis Liapis attended the press conference announcing the events.
Mihalis Liapis, Greek Minister of Culture, said, “During the exhibition, I will promote an agreement with my Chinese colleagues to prevent the smuggling of cultural relics. I know both China and Greece have suffered inestimable losses from smuggling. As for the “Birds”, I believe Chinese the audience will love it. It is a masterpiece beyond time and space. We hope to showcase not only the ancient history and culture of Greece, but also it’s modern life. And you will find it all in the year of culture.”
The Hellenic Minister of Culture also noted that flame for the Beijing Olympic Games will be gathered at Olympia, Greece, on March 24. Preparations already are in place.