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Impressionism masterpieces on display in Hong Kong next month

For the first time in Hong Kong, the public will have the opportunity to see 47 original masterpieces of Impressionism by 13 French masters shown together in an exhibition.

The extraordinary exhibition - "Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France" will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from February 5 to April 10.

The exhibition will include internationally acclaimed and much-loved masterpieces of the Impressionist school, namely Edouard Manet's "The Fifer", Edgar Degas' "The Dance Class" and "In a Cafe, the Absinthe", Claude Monet's "Rouen Cathedral, the Portal, Harmony in Brown" and "Water Lilies", Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Woman, Torso in the Sun", as well as works by Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cezanne and others.

Announcing details of the exhibition at a press conference today (January 20), the Director for Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, said that Impressionism was a universally known art movement, and masterpieces by Impressionists were gems that appealed to all people.

She pointed out that the Impressionists' works on loan from the prestigious Musee d'Orsay and other French national collections would be showcased for the first time in Hong Kong, reflecting the international status and professional image of the public museums in this city.

The exhibition is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Consulate General of France in Hong Kong. It is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Association Francaise d'Action Artistique and Musee d'Orsay. It has also been made possible in the People's Republic of China - Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong - with the generous support of LVMH/Moet Hennessy.Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior and in Hong Kong with the most generous support of HSBC.

The exhibition is also a highlight of "The Year of France in China" programme, which is to reciprocate "The Year of China in France" held in France last year.

Mr Roaymond Or, Executive Director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which is sponsoring the exhibition in Hong Kong, said at the press conference: "This two-month exhibition of some of the world's most renowned artists and their art is more than just a rare opportunity for the people of Hong Kong to see and indeed to experience the work of the French masters. It also reinforces Hong Kong's standing as a truly international city."

Also officiating at today's press conference were the Consul-General of France in Hong Kong, Mr Serge Mostura and Senior Adviser to the LVMH Executive Committee, Mr Hugues Witvoet.

The Hong Kong Museum of Art will introduce a number of measures to allow more people the chance to see the exhibition. These include extending its daily opening hours to 8pm and staying open on the first two days of Chinese New Year. The museum will accept bookings for visits by school groups and non-profit-making organisations on Thursdays, when it is normally closed.

To enhance viewers' appreciation of the exhibits and their understanding of the Impressionist movement, an education gallery with introductory text, video programmes, relevant books and specially designed games will be set up. Audio guides, talks, a demonstration and workshops, as well as on-site education kits and on-site sketching activities will also be available during the exhibition period.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be published for sale at the Gift Shop of the Museum of Art.

"Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France" will open from 10am to 8pm daily and from 10am to 6pm on Chinese New Year's Eve and the first two days of Chinese New Year. The museum will be closed on Thursdays, except public holidays.

Admission is $30 from Friday to Tuesday, and $20 on Wednesdays. A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For details of the exhibition, visit the Museum of Art's website at . For enquiries, call 2721 0116.

Ends/Thursday, January 20, 2005
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