Traditional Chinese opera and folk music, as well as Western classics, can now be heard in the Forbidden City's Changyin Pavilion for the first time in over a century. It was the first show following the renovation of the former royal theater, which is the only three-story stage that remains from the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-99). The show was a prelude to the second Taihe Forum on Protecting the World's Ancient Civilizations, a two-day discussion in Beijing's Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, about preserving ancient cultural relics. During the forum, the museum, together with the Shanghai Museum, pledged to provide academic and technological support for cultural reconstruction in Mexico after the country experienced a magnitude-7.1 earthquake on Tuesday. The museum also signed memorandums of understanding with Iraq's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities and with the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece. It seeks to strengthen cooperation on exhibitions, academic research, publicity, education, digital technology and cultural products. A cooperation framework agreement was also signed between the museum and the International Council of Museums' conservation committee. Ahmed Ebeid, head of the technical office for cultural heritage sites under Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, recognized this year's forum as a productive event, adding that cultural heritage preservation is a good theme for cooperation between countries. Since preservation is included in international conventions and charters, we are talking the same language. But each country is working according to the nature of its own heritage sites, Ebeid said. The theme of this year's forum was Echoes of the Ancient Civilizations. Delegates from 21 countries and three international organizations attended, sharing their views and achievements. We have red walls, yellow tiles and blue sky today, said Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum, in his keynote speech during the opening ceremony of the forum. The three primary colors can form any color in the world - just as world culture is diverse, rich and splendid in nature. The idea for the forum came to Shan during a business trip to Afghanistan when he was unable to visit local cultural relics because of social unrest. That's when he got the idea of building a dialogue platform for countries with ancient civilizations that are striving to sustain them through natural disasters, war, terrorism, illegal sales and improper protection methods. With the support of the Chinese government, the First Taihe Forum was held last fall in Beijing. Eight countries jointly produced its Declaration of Supreme Harmony, which aims to address challenges and explore effective and sustainable inheritance paths for human civilization. In support, the Palace Museum presented an exhibition titled Afghanistan: Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul this year - the first exhibition of Afghan cultural relics in China. According to Shan, an exhibition hall for foreign antiquities will be open to visitors next year. Fang Aiqing contributed to this story.   design rubber bracelets
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