Slovenia and China are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic ties with an exhibition dedicated to Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein, a Ljubljana-born Jesuit missionary to China. President Nataša Pirc Musar launched the event on Wednesday at Gruber’s Palace in Ljubljana’s old town, part of a series of events commemorating the occasion, according to the Slovenia News Agency (STA).
President Pirc Musar praised Hallerstein’s life and work at the exhibition’s opening, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the past and present, art, history, science, and people-to-people relationships. Hallerstein spent 35 years in China and left an indelible mark with his innovative and scientific achievements.
The exhibition, a collaboration between the national archives of Slovenia and China, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Beijing Planetarium, was lauded by Pirc Musar as a “building block for bridges between the two countries.” Chinese Ambassador to Slovenia, Wang Shunqing, expressed his hope that the exhibition would increase public awareness of Hallerstein’s contributions to Sino-Slovenian relations.
According to Shunqing, Hallerstein was a historical ambassador of friendship between Slovenia and China, and the two countries’ relationship is now “at a new level of development.” The exhibition will run until May 20, 2023, and features Hallerstein’s life and work.
The event was also attended by the State Archives Administration of China’s Deputy Director General, Wei Hongtao, and the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia’s Director, Bojan Cvelfar, along with Professor Mitja Saje, who explained why Hallerstein’s “return” to Slovenia is so meaningful and why he is such an important figure.
This exhibition pays tribute to the 30 years of diplomatic ties between Slovenia and China, and it will undoubtedly increase awareness of Hallerstein’s contributions to the relationship between the two countries.