Goethe-Institut moves into Beijing's 798 art zone

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The Goethe-Institut China will open a new center in Beijing's 798 Art Zone. It will be a new event space for cultural and artistic exchanges, strengthening cultural ties between China and Germany.

The Goethe-Institut China will open a new center in Beijing's 798 Art Zone. It will be a new event space for cultural and artistic exchanges, strengthening cultural ties between China and Germany. (Photo/CNTV) 

Located in the heart of the 798 Art Zone, the venue was once a factory workshop built in the 1950s. The new center preserves elements of the factory's Bauhaus style of architecture.

The opening of the new center for Goethe-Institut China has showcased quite an ambition and eager to build a stronger cultural tie between the two countries. This center set in 798 Art Zone has many purposes, but in one word, to create dialogue.

"The dialogue is not a dialogue from point zero, it's a dialogue in a very high level. And I think it's necessary to be open in a way that the qualified people to come together, the intellectuals to use their open space to find out what is my own and what is the thinking of the others. To have such spaces like this one in 798 is a wonderful opportunity, we have to use it," said professor Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of Goethe-Institut.

Beijing's art quarter "798" is a place that draws artists and art lovers alike from around the world. Last year, there were approximately four million visitors.

The Goethe-Institut's new centre will help encourage debates, and there is room for up to 120 audience members.

"As the Goethe-Institut was the first cultural center in China which was opened in '88. So as this I think it's time we get our own premises, we get some visibility. So we are very happy that we have now the place for programming, that we can have the opportunity to give people the chance to present their work, to present their artistic work, but also to give a chance to experimentation for research for lecture. So, yes, you are right, we are investing a lot, we are interested in strengthening our cultural ties between China and Germany," said Peter Anders, director of Goethe-Insititut China.

And the opening of the new center coincides with the visit by German Prime Minister Merkel to China.

"This may be a happy co-incidence but it shows that our ties between our two countries are very deep. Also in the field of culture, one of the issues that the Chancellor will discuss with the Chinese side is how we can intensify exchanges between young people and students. I think we have some 30,000 Chinese students in Germany at the moment. We have only about 8,000 German students here in China. So I think there perhaps we could do more," said Dr. Christophe Erick, miniter councellor of German Embassy in Beijing.

On the opening weekend, the Goethe-Institut will bring together a wide number of celebratory activities, including music performances, film screenings, and an international symposium on the theme "Can Design Change Society?"

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