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Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario visited the exhibition “Philippines: Archipel des Echanges” at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris on 30 May 2013. 

The exhibit, which was inaugurated last 8 April 2013 by Vice President Jejomar Binay and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, features around 300 Philippine pre-colonial artifacts and artworks.  It is the biggest exhibition on the Philippines held in France and even in Europe for more than 20 years. 

Artistically arranged in more than 2,000 square meters of space, the exhibition features the arts and culture of the Cordilleras and of the coastal communities, mostly in Southern Philippines.  Paris, being a global center for culture, the exhibition gives an international audience a rare glimpse of the rich and diverse heritage of the Philippines’ past.

The Secretary was joined during the visit by his spouse, Mrs.  Gretchen del Rosario, and Philippine Ambassador to France Cristina G. Ortega.  On hand to welcome the Philippine delegation was Musée du Quai Branly President Stéphane Martin. Mme. Hélène Fulgence, Director for Cultural Development, and Exhibition co-curator Mme. Constance de Monbrison provided a running explanation about the items on display, many of which were on loan from private and public collections from the Philippines, Europe and the United States. 

After viewing the exhibition, Secretary del Rosario expressed his appreciation to Mr. Martin and commented that “this is the best exhibition I have seen and it will make the Philippines and its rich culture more known France”. 

“Philippines: Archipel des Echanges” is considered by  the Philippines and France as a manifestation of the strengthening bilateral relations and of the high level of trust and confidence that exists between the two countries. 

Coming at the heels of Prime Minister Ayrault’s visit to the Philippines in October 2012 and the visit of Vice President Binay to France in April this year, Secretary del Rosario’s arrival in Paris is also an indication of the keen desire of both countries to deepen political, economic, cultural and defense ties. 

Foremost among his reasons for traveling to France is to conduct political consultations with his French counterpart Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and meet with the French Legislature.  While in Paris, the Foreign Secretary will also meet with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to discuss issues of Philippine interest such as world heritage, culture and education.

From left: Musée du Quai Branly President Stéphane Martin, Director for Cultural Development Mme. Hélène Fulgence, Secretary Albert del Rosario, Ambassador Cristina Ortega