HONG KONG A selection of artwork from Paris' world-renowned Louvre museum goes on display in Hong Kong on Wednesday, offering Chinese patrons a rare opportunity to view some of the institution's cultural treasures on their doorstep.
The "Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years" exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum features some 130 works, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics and tapestries from various periods spanning centuries.
It features a statue of French writer Jean de La Fontaine and a fragment of a horse head dating from before 500 BC.
The exhibition is being held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong's Special Administrative Region (SAR) government after the territory was handed back to China in 1997 following over 150 years of British rule.
It also underscores the importance of Chinese visitors to the Paris museum, according to Pascal Torres, Chief Curator of the Louvre's department of interpretation and cultural programming.
"The most important visitors of (any) foreign country are Chinese," he told Reuters.
"So it was necessary for us to permit to some good part of the Chinese public, who will not travel very easily to France or to Paris, to know a little about the Louvre Museum."
"Inventing the Louvre" runs until July 24.
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Mark Hanrahan; Editing by Tom Heneghan)