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Bogart's hat and Hepburn's motorcycle on show in Beijing


04-28-2017 08:51 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

An exhibition tracing the history of Italian design over the past one hundred years has opened at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Notable items on display include the fedora hat worn by Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca", and the motorcycle ridden by Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday", Over 200 classic pieces of Italian design are on show. Take a look.

Organized by Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism in conjunction with the Milan Triennale, the exhibition aims to show how Italy became globally renowned for the creativity of its art and industrial design. On display are works from 98 designers and 73 brands over the past one hundred years. The exhibition represents the fourth major initiative promoted by Italy since the country agreed a cooperation deal with China in October 2010.

"There is something special about Italian design, in that its designers have a close cooperation with the manufacturers. Some of these designs might be common to modern people, but they were very new in terms of the invention of materials, and in terms of ideas," Andrea Cancellato, mamager of Milan Triennale, said.

Italian designs became known to the world in early 20th century, with furniture and ornamental pieces sought after by many, and the designers who created them being treated like stars. Italian design soon led the way globally, with notable pieces including the ultra-light chair designed by Ponti, the variable speed bicycle, and the mushroom lamp.

"This sofa was created some fifty years ago, using styrofoam, which was a new material at the time. Now it is very common. But back then it was revolutionary," Cancellato said.

Italian designs were favored by filmmakers - for example, in the fedora hat worn by Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca", and the motorcycle ridden by Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday".

"There are some ideas behind these items that can give us a lot of inspiration in life," Hou Chunyan, curator with National Museum of China, said.

The works on display highlight the unique rapport between design and production. This exhibition represents the fourth time that Italy has brought an artistic collection to China, with three previous displays centering on Renaissance art, Baroque paintings and sculptures and Venetian paintings. The design exhibition runs until July 25th.

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