Exhibits from a distant past that fire the imagination

Exhibits from a distant past that fire the imagination

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Greece-china2017.gr is presenting today, an interview with Paul Firos, founder of the Herakleidon Museum in Athens. The Museum is participating in events of the “2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation of Creative Industries", by hosting, from 23 September 2017 to 29 April 2018, the exhibition "Ancient Chinese Science and Technology" of the China Museum of Science and Technology in Beijing. In addition, from October 2017 to March 2018, the Herakleidon will present the exhibition “EUREKA – Science, art and technology of the Ancient Greeks”, at the China Museum of Science and Technology in the Chinese capital.

The “Ancient Chinese Science and Technology” exhibition is opening to the public on 23 September. Would you like to tell us a few words about this exhibition and what you think Greek and foreign visitors may find attractive in it?

It is a very important presentation of Ancient Chinese technological advancements.  Originally we agreed to present about 40 exhibits at the annex of our museum in Apostolou Pavlou 37 but after seeing and understanding the educational value we decided to present more than 90 exhibits in both our buildings. It is a unique opportunity for our visitors to see up close and to learn about the Chinese inventions but, particularly for the Greeks, to compare the evolution of both our civilizations.

On the other hand, your museum’s exhibition “EUREKA – Science, Art and Technology of Ancient Greeks” will be hosted at the Science and Technology Museum of China, in October. What can the Chinese audience expect to see about ancient Greek culture?

The exhibition EUREKA has the distinction of having every single of its 50 exhibits verified scientifically by top researchers in the field of Ancient Greek Technology headed by Professor Theodosios Tasios, who is the scientific consultant of our museum. The exhibition is in close cooperation with the Society for the Study of Ancient Greek Technology (EMAET) and each exhibit has been reproduced based on the most accurate information. Consequently, the visitor will know that what is presented is not a casual rendition of an invention but the result of extensive research.

Has your museum planned, in the context of this exhibition, more specific events aimed at children, in order for them to get to know the world of ancient Chinese science and technology, combined perhaps with the ancient Greek?

Students will have the unique opportunity to participate in demonstrations of ancient Chinese weaving techniques, traditional paper making and printing (rubbing, stamping and the use of wooden types), as well as specially designed educational activities:
1. The Chinese art of paper cutting
2. The geometry of the Chinese dragon
3. Chinese weaving and arithmetical patterns
4. The Chinese abacus and arithmetical calculations
5. Orientation and the compass
6. The meeting of two civilizations on a theorem
7. Chinese civilization in the "constellation" of the Universe
8. Solar clocks in Chinese civilization

What are the prospects for further cooperation, beyond the Greece-China Year, either with the Science and Technology Museum of China or with other Chinese cultural institutions?

Our museum has exchanged collections with many museums around the world.  Our collections are traveling and we are constantly creating new opportunities for exchanges.  We are particularly enthusiastic about this new collaboration which will surely bring about new opportunities.