The Kazantzakis Museum in Myrtia was paid a visit recently by the Minister of Culture and Tourism of China HU Heping, who was accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Greece Xiao Junzheng. Other leading officials of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Chinese Embassy in Greece also attended.
The Minister and the official Chinese delegation were welcomed in Myrtia by the Regional Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnautakis. Following the welcoming, a meeting held in the event hall of the Museum was attended by the Mayor of Archana Asterousia Manolis Kokosalis, the Deputy Governor of Tourism and E-Government Kyriakos Kotsoglou, the Appointed Advisor for Culture and Hellenism Abroad Kostas Fasoulakis, the President of the Museum “Nikos Kazantzakis”, University of Crete professor Michalis Taroudakis , the former President Stelios Matzabetakis, and the Bureau and the members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
Governor Arnautakis gave an address that pointed out that the visit of the Chinese government officials coincides with the completion of 40 years since the foundation of the Kazantzakis Museum.
“Here in his birthplace, the Barbarians, Myrtia Heraklion. This is a great Museum, the pride of our place, founded to honor the memory of the great Cretan writer, who glorified Greek letters and the Greek spirit and highlighted Crete in every corner of the earth.”
The governor went on to iterate the support of the Region in notable events, throughout Crete and Greece, with some highlighting the close spiritual relationship of Kazantzakis with China.
In his speech, the Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism announced the strengthening and deepening of cultural cooperation between China and Greece with a series of actions in culture, while underlining that the goal is to increase the tourist flow from China to Crete and Greece.
“You have many excellent products, such as wine, olive oil, and cheese, and they are increasingly being exported to China. Through this visit, we want to further promote the tourism cooperation between the two sides.”
The Minister of Culture and Tourism HU Heping thanked Arnautakis for strengthening relations over the last decade, starting in 2011 when relations with the island were sealed when Crete became a bridge of cooperation and peaceful coexistence of people living on the shores of the Mediterranean, in the operation of repatriating thousands of Chinese citizens from Libya.
During the exchange of souvenirs that followed, the Regional Governor of Crete offered the photographic portrait of the great Cretan writer in the ice technique, from the series of three souvenirs recently created by the Region of Crete, as well as a copy of the Phaistos disc and a brochure on Cretan olive oil in the Chinese language. The governor added:
“Thanks to your visit, Kazantzakis’ historic, timeless, and unstoppable journey to your country through his books is being renewed.”
Governor Arnautakis was also grateful for receiving the special display case offered by the Chinese Minister containing an inkwell with authentic Chinese ink and pen, objects which are a point of reference for the history and culture of the great Asian country.