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Precious Pictures Playback the Glory of Dongyue Temple

The Dongyue Temple in the eastern part of Beijing was opened to tourists in February this year. Now a photo exhibition with pictures selected from the "Global Files" of the Albert Kahn Museum of France has opened in the Beijing Folklore Museum in the temple. These photos were taken in June 1913, using colored glass reversal negative plates and they are precious materials that vividly playback the past glory of the Dongyue Temple.

statues in the Dongyue Temple,
a photo included in the Global File
taken on July 7, 1913.

Mr. Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was born into a Jewish merchant's family in eastern France, and later became a well known banker in the world. According to him, international folk cultural communications could help promote peace in the world, and he was devoted to this cause. In 1909, Albert Kahn adopted the most advanced photographic technology available at that time to edit the Global File. He recruited 11 photographers to take pictures in over 50 countries from 1909 to 1931 about their life and political and social events.

To commemorate Mr. Kahn, the Albert Kahn Museum was built in France after his death, and all of the global files edited by him are kept in the museum. The files include 7,200 colored glass reversal negative plates and 183,000 meters of moving pictures. Among these files there are 655 colored glass reversal negative plates taken in 1909, and about 70 minutes of moving film. The 25 pictures shown in this exhibition in the Dongyue Temple are only a small part of the collection. On March 5, Madame Jeanne Beausolei, director of the Albert Kahn Museum, held a press conference in the Dongyue Temple. At the conference, she showed the photo album edited by her including all the 1,766 photos taken in China from 1909 to 1913. She said that all the photos and pictures about China will be published in 2000, and a larger scale exhibition will be held in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing in October this year. Madame Jeanne Beausoleil has been engaged in museum research for 25 years, and she is also interested in history, literature, philosophy and music. She has also done lots of research about Chinese culture.

In 1994 the French Cultural Act Association signed a three-year cooperation contract with the local legislative assembly of the Upper River Seine Province, listing the China project as one of its major projects. From 1995, Jeanne Beausoleil has traveled between China and France to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries. The historical photo exhibition in the Dongyue Temple is only one part of the project. She said that the Global File left by Mr. Albert Kahn is very precious, and the section about China is particularly valuable. She plans to carry more research work related to China with these photos and pictures.

Madame Jeanne Beausoleil said that she will carry out the wishes of Mr. Kahn to promote international artistic cooperation, and that she would pay great attention to cooperation with China.

Materials are provided by "China Tourism"

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