Tue, Jul 21, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: France, Taiwan laud closer ties

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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The French Institute in Taipei held a Bastille Day reception last Tuesday in celebration of France's 220th national day, with the top French representative to Taiwan praising the close relations between Taipei and Paris.

“Many developments have been seen in bilateral relations despite the dire global economic situation, and the most impressive developments have been in the cultural area,” Patrick Bonneville, director of the French Institute in Taipei, said at the function, which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps.

Bonneville was referring to the “unprecedented success” of the exhibition “Millet and His Time: Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay,” which attracted 800,000 visitors last year, as well as a recently concluded exhibition of art collections from the Pompidou Center that drew 200,000 visitors.

Bonneville also announced that the institute would hold a function in September to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the French-Taiwan Grand Prize, which represents the long-term close scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Bastille Day commemorates the Fete de la Federation, held in 1790 on the first anniversary of the July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille prison that marked the beginning of the French Revolution

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said that France has a long and glorious history well-known for its refined culture and rich traditions, and Taiwanese have a deep affection for French art and culture, as well as its achievements in science and technology, architecture, literature and fashion.

“Over the past few years, Taiwan and France have enjoyed frequent and wide-ranging exchanges and cooperation in many areas, and such deep relations have continued to grow stably,” Lin said.

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