Tue, Jul 15, 2003 - Page 1 News List

First lady to depart for Europe with entourage

BON VOYAGE Wu Shu-chen is heading to Berlin on the first leg of her European visit, and later she will have an audience with Pope John Paul II


First lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) and her entourage is due to depart for Europe late today for a nine-day visit aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and friendship.

Wu will head for Berlin today on the first leg of her European visit that will later take her to the Holy See.

While in Berlin, Wu will preside over the opening of an unprecedented exhibition of ancient Chinese art treasures from the National Palace Museum.

Called "Treasures of the Sons of Heaven: The Imperial Collection from the National Palace Museum, Taipei," the exhibition will be displayed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin from Sunday to Oct. 12.

The collection, comprising more than 400 masterpieces, will then be put on display at the Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn from Nov. 21 to Feb. 15.

During her stay in the German capital, Wu will receive medals from several German organizations in honor of her contribution to democracy and freedom and her care for the physically and mentally challenged.

The first lady is scheduled to leave Berlin for the Holy See next Monday where she will attend a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's assumption of the papacy and will have an audience with the pope.

She will stay in Italy for meetings with members of the Chinese community there before returning home on July 23.

National Palace Museum Curator Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) already left for Berlin Sunday in preparation for the opening of the exhibition.

This will mark the third time that the National Palace Museum has loaned its treasures to overseas exhibitions, following exhibitions in New York and Chicago in 1996 and an exhibit in Paris in 1998.

When Wu made her visit to the US last December, Wu made three speeches to top US political figures and overseas Taiwanese -- at the National Arts Club in New York, the American Enterprise Institute think tank and Capitol Hill in Washington.

Also see story:

First lady flies to Europe in style

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