In Tokyo, the formal opening of the public exhibition of the "Venus de Milo", the statue's first display outside France.
In Tokyo, the formal opening of the public exhibition of the "Venus de Milo", the statue's first display outside France. Princess Takamatsu, one of Emperor Hirohito's sisters-in-law, cut a ribbon with gold scissors to inaugurate the exhibit yesterday (Wednesday).
French Prime Minister Georges Pompidou and Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda attended the opening with some 200 Japanese and French officials, members of the diplomatic corps and newsmen. The statue was placed in a special pavilion in front of the National Museum of Western Arts in Tokyo's Ueno park.
Mr. Pompidou said: "It is indeed fitting that this marble goddess, born in an island of ancient Greece, and which since its resurrection has been a towering figure in the most celebrated museum in the world, should not leave it except for Japan, which, more than any other nation of Asia, has exalted the dialogue between the spirit of the Orient and that of the Occident."
And Mr. Ikeda "...here in Japan, I have recaptured the same emotion inspired by this noble and serene statue, which is the incarnation of the ideal of beauty of Greece."
Four small pieces were chipped from the statue during its sea voyage to Japan, but French art experts said the damage had been repaired easily. The "Venus de Milo" will be shown in Tokyo for 40 days. It then will be moved to Kyoto, the nation's ancient capital in western Japan, for another 36 days.