Paris-The 21st Taiwan-France Cultural Awards were presented in Paris on Monday to the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies and Patrice Martinet, founder of the Paris Quartier d' Ete.
In a joint presentation ceremony, Jean-Robert Pitte, permanent secretary-general of the school of political science and humanities under the Institute of France, said the awards serve an encouragement to the many academicians, artists and cultural professionals who are dedicated to cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Europe.
"Their efforts have dispersed the foggy veil that prevented Europeans from getting a glimpse of Taiwan," he said.
Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Culture Yang Tzu-pao (???), the other presenter of the awards, said the European spirit of "passive tranquil" power was broader and more open-minded than the American-style "soft power."
"The work of this year's winners fully reflects this spirit of humanity," Yang said.
After the ceremony, Martinet told CNA that he has an idea for a festival that would promote Taiwan's culture more broadly by featuring both its performing and design arts.
"It would be worth our efforts to hold a Taiwan cultural festival in France, but the idea is still in the pipeline," he said.
Martinet said he is especially fond of performing arts groups from Taiwan and has invited Cloud Gate Theater (????), Contemporary Legend Theatre (??????) and Taiwanese opera legend Liao Chiung-chih (???) to perform in Paris.
"I was so moved by Cloud Gate Theater's performance when I saw it for the first time in 1994," he said. "That prompted me to visit Taiwan several times to explore the opportunities for Taiwanese artistic groups to perform in France."
Astrid Lipinsky, who accepted the Taiwan-France cultural award on behalf of the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies, said her bond with Taiwan dates back to her father's time when he taught classes on land reform at an institute in Taoyuan.
"The Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies engages in a diverse range of studies, and Taiwan's cultural diplomacy will be its next subject, with studies ranging from literature to movies," she told CNA, speaking in Chinese.
The Taiwan-France Cultural Awards were established by Taiwan and France in 1996 to advance bilateral cultural interactions.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel