Memorandum of Understanding Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas The Palace Museum, Beijing
Mr. Wang Xudong, Director of The Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, along with a four-member delegation and members of the Chinese Embassy in Athens, visited the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), on November 7th, for the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two Organizations, aiming to establish a bilateral cooperation which focuses on the conservation of cultural heritage objects and monuments, using state-of-the-art technology.
This significant collaboration was inaugurated in 2015, when the first official visit of a delegation from the Palace Museum took place at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) of FORTH, followed, in 2016, by the inauguration of the Joint Research Laboratory "NIKI: China-Greece Laser Technology Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage" and the signing of the first MoU between the two organizations.
More specifically, in the context of their participation in the Joint Laboratory: "China-Greece Belt and Road Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology", it is mutually agreed that FORTH and The Palace Museum will jointly participate in research projects aimed at the protection and restoration of cultural heritage, as well as, in research and development of new technologies. Also, the MoU allows for the exchange of researchers, the organization of educational activities, conferences, seminars, and the publication of joint scientific papers.
FORTH was represented by the Deputy Director of IESL, Dr. Emmanuel Stratakis and the IESL researchers and members of the Scientific Committee of the "China-Greece Belt and Road Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology", Prof. Demetrios Anglos, Dr. Paraskevi Pouli and Mr. Kostas Hatzigiannakis, as well as, Dr. Sophia Sotiropoulou, IESL affiliated faculty member; also, from the Institute of Computer Science, Dr. Martin Doerr, Emeritus Researcher, and Maria Theodoridou, Vice-head of the Center for Cultural Informatics, as well as, Dr. Xenophon Zabulis, researcher at the Computational Vision and Robotics Laboratory.
The President of FORTH, Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis, said: "The signing of the MoU between FORTH and the Palace Museum is a strategic initiative that invests in directions with a significant and beneficial impact on culture, society and economy. It gives significant momentum to research conducted for the enhancement of cultural heritage, the protection of monuments and the utilization of FORTH’s valuable know-how and research results in this field."
Also, Mr. Wang Xudong, Director of the Forbidden City Palace Museum in Beijing, noted:
“On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi, the renewal of the cooperation agreement between the Palace Museum and FORTH is of great significance. In the future, based on the platform of the joint laboratory, the two sides will carry out mutual visits and academic exchanges, jointly undertake scientific research projects on cultural heritage conservation and bring more benefit to the cultural heritage conservation of the two countries, so as to promote mutual learning between the two ancient civilizations of China and Greece and foster a sense of affinity between the two peoples”.
Dr. Manolis Stratakis, Deputy Director of IESL, said: "The signing of this new memorandum undoubtedly strengthens and consolidates the long-standing research collaboration of the IESL with the Palace Museum. At the same time, it is a strong indication of the significant - on a global level - innovative technologies resulting from the pioneering research carried out at FORTH. This collaboration will lead to new joint actions and synergies, given that more FORTH’s research groups active in the heritage field, are expected to participate in this interdisciplinary and intercultural partnership, with the aim of highlighting the unique cultural wealth of the two countries".
The signing ceremony of the memorandum between the 2 institutions was also attended by the Director of the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Dr. Stella Chryssoulaki, the Head of the Dep. of Exhibitions, Communication and Education of the AMH Ms Katerina Athanasaki, as well as, the Head of the Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and Museums of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion, Ms. Elisabeth Kavoulaki.