Cao Xueqin Statue Unveiled in Shiraz
The statue of Cao Xueqin, was unveiled at the historical Jahannama Garden in Shiraz on Tuesday 26 July 2022 at a ceremony attended by high-ranking municipal and provincial officials including the vice chairperson of the Shiraz Islamic City Council, the first vice mayor, and the Head of the Foreign Ministry provincial office in Fars Province.
Cao-Xueqin, the 19-century Nanjing- born Chinese writer, is the author of the Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, which is also among the best-selling novels of all time.
Addressing the audience on behalf of Mayor Asnafi, Arash Farajzadeh, the first vice mayor said: “as important hubs of literature and culture and capitals of civilizations in their pertinent countries, Shiraz and Nanjing can not only spearhead the further development of full-scale ties between the two nations of Iran and China but also have the potential to serve as an ideal model of a vibrant and constructive city-to- city cooperation for other Asian cities”.
Arash Farajzadeh went on to say: By exchanging the statues of the two prominent literary figures (Sa’adi of Shiraz and Cao Xueqin of Nanjing) the two cities have called upon their citizens to deepen their understanding of each other’s culture and literature. The exchange of the two valuable statues is an inspiring move which can promote tourism between the two sides.
Extending gratitude to Nanjing’s mayor and city administration for their support and effective cooperation with regard to strengthening the friendly ties between the two sister cities, the first vice mayor expressed hope that Shiraz would closely work together with its sister cities such as Nanjing to further develop and expand the mutual cooperation to also include technical exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade and economy.
Addressing the audience via a recorded video message, Yang Xuepeng, the executive vice mayor of Nanjing and member of the Standing Committee of CPC Nanjing Municipal Committee said: “Since Nanjing and Shiraz established sister city relationship in 2018, the two cities have continued to deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economy trade, culture, education, tourism, etc. which meets the development needs of our two sides and shows distinctive characteristics”.
Mr Xuepeng, who was speaking on behalf of Mayor Xia Xinmin of Nanjing, stated that “both cities have profound cultural heritage and literary atmosphere.”
Commenting on the installing of the bust of Sa’adi, the world-famous Persian poet and prose writer in Nanjing International Friendship Park, he went on to say,” By appreciating the statue, citizens in Nanjing can feel the relics of ancient Persian culture, and enhance their understanding of Iran and Shiraz”.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Yang Xuepeng expressed hope that two cities would “further uphold the concept of a community with a shard future for mankind and the idea of openness and win-win cooperation … and contribute to China-Iran friendly cooperation.”