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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Cultural exchange agreement with China

Media release
23 March 2009

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Australia and China have agreed to work more closely on cultural activities such as exhibitions, performing arts, film festivals, media and cultural heritage protection.

Arts Minister Peter Garrett said the two governments are signing a three-year implementation program under the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation that builds on a long-standing cultural partnership with China and will strengthen relations between the two countries.

“This program will provide the people of our countries with a deeper understanding of each of our unique cultures particularly in the lead up to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai,” Mr Garrett said.

“Already a number of exciting activities are underway. This includes Australian tours of the stage production Wind of Shaolin and a ballet performance of Raise the Red Lantern later in the year.

“Australia’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre and the Children’s Art Theatre of China are collaborating on a new puppet theatre work with the working title The Tiny Giant. The work will be performed in Shanghai in 2010.

“Another activity underway includes a picture book artwork by 30 of Australia’s most prominent contemporary children’s book illustrators that is touring Suzhow and Chengdu in an exhibition titled An Australian Menagerie.

“Under the new program there will be a strong focus on a program of activities for the 2010 World Expo. Australia intends to have a resident group of artists performing daily and a high profile concert.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase Australia’s vibrant and innovative arts and culture to an international audience.”

Australia and the People’s Republic of China have been formally working together on cultural cooperation activities under the Agreement since 1981. This is the 12th implementation program under the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation.

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