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SHA's speech at the opening ceremony of an exhibition on Impressionism


Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France" held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art today (February 4):

The Honourable Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive, Mr Serge Mostura, Consul General of France in Hong Kong, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the opening of the exhibition "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France". This exhibition, a highlight programme of the Year of France in China, marks the friendship and fruit of co-operation between the two countries.

In this year's policy address, the Chief Executive has stressed that developing cultural and creative industries is one of the new growth areas for our economy. Hong Kong is well positioned to develop cultural and creative industries because we are a pluralistic and inclusive society and a confluence of Eastern and Western cultures. I am sure Impressionism will be welcomed by our citizens with the same enthusiasm, as it has inspired creative talents of the world for the last hundred years.

Presentation of the exhibition in Hong Kong also reinforces our position as an international city of art and culture. Here I would like to express my sincere thanks to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong for bringing this significant show to Hong Kong. My thanks are also due to the generous sponsorship from HSBC and the French sponsors, LVMH, Moet Henessy, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. In addition, I would like to thank the Musee d' Orsay and other French national museums for lending us these valuable masterpieces.

Lastly, may I wish the exhibition every success and I look forward to more cultural exchanges between China and France in future.

Thank you and a Happy Lunar New Year to you all. End/Friday, February 4, 2005


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