Slovenia and China mark 30 years of diplomatic relations
Ljubljana, 26 April - Slovenia and China are marking 30 years since the launch of diplomatic relations this year. To mark the occasion, President Nataša Pirc Musar opened in Ljubljana on Wednesday an exhibition dedicated to Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein (1703-1774), a Ljubljana-born Jesuit missionary to China.
The exhibition at Gruber's Palace in Ljubljana's old town is part of an event cycle marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between Slovenia and China.
In her opening address, President Pirc Musar spoke highly of Haller's life and work, saying that the 230th anniversary of his birth symbolizes how the present and the past, art, history and science, and relations between people intertwine.
"He left a great mark with his work there, there where he spent half of his life, and with his innovations and scientific achievements he wowed the world," she said of the missionary who lived in China for 35 years.
The exhibition was set up by the national archives of Slovenia and China, with the president applauding their cooperation and labelling their joint efforts as "building blocks for bridges between the two countries." The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Beijing Planetarium also took part in preparing the exhibition.
China's Ambassador to Slovenia Wang Shunqing said that the exhibition will help more people get acquainted with Hallerstein's work. He was a historic ambassador of the friendship between Slovenia and China, said Wang, adding that relations between the countries are now "at a new level of development."
Wei Hongtao, deputy director general of the State Archives Administration of China, and Bojan Cvelfar, director of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, also addressed the audience, as did professor Mitja Saje, who explained why Hallerstein was such a significant figure and why his "return" to Slovenia is so meaningful.