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100 Italian masks on show in Jakarta

JAKARTA ( The National Museum is currently exhibiting some 100 Italian masks as part of its cultural exchange programs.

The exhibition, which was officially opened on Nov. 7, will run to Nov. 27, 2000.
The National Museum's Director, Endang Sri Hardiati told that the exhibition was aimed at forging cultural relations between Indonesia and Italy. "Culture is a means of developing mutual understanding between nations," she said.

"Cultural works often have things in common, but they also show differences," she added.
The display is expected to add to Indonesians' knowledge of Italian culture and to widen the horizons of viewers. 

Terracotta works 

Meanwhile, Endang Sri Hardiati said that over 100 works of terracotta will be on display at the National Museum for two months. The exhibition will commence on Nov. 20 and will run to January 2001.
Items on display will include works of the pre-historic period, such as earthenware barrels for funeral purposes, construction components from temples from the Tanah Abang district in Muara Enim, brick fragments from Muara Jambi and decorated cooking-pots from Irian Jaya. 

She said that the exhibition was designed to enhance the public appreciation of terracotta. "People tend to disregard the earth, the material used for terracotta, when in fact, the earth has a high value. Men used earth when they first became aware of the need to have a vessel to put something in, and until now the material remains important, not only in terms of its being used as a material for construction and religious activities, but also as an art form," she explained.

The exhibition is expected to allow the public - terracotta enthusiasts in particular - to see the development of terracotta making in the pre-historic period of about 3000 years ago. "An interesting point to note is that the technology of producing terracotta, especially the system of firing the clay, remains the same today," she commented.

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