On the occasion of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, Atlas International Culture was proud to take part, as project coordinator, in the organization of the Chinese Lantern Expo Light the Heart of Europe in Brussels. Together with the Mission of China to the EU, the European Commission and the City of Brussels, Atlas International Culture contributed to the realization of this unique project symbolizing the strong bound between the European Union and China. Through the period of the Spring Festival, the beautifully handcrafted lanterns decorated the city centre of Brussels, which took direct inspirations from both Chinese and Belgian landmarks and culture: the Temple of Heaven, the Atomium, pandas and swans, Peking Opera, Zodiac signs and many more. In parallel, red lanterns also appeared at the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries from 16th February (date of the Chinese New Year) to 15th March.
The project-related logistics and technical aspects, regulatory compliance, event strategy and creation have been entrusted to the Atlas. The team managed to make different partners come together to guarantee the good execution of the project. Not a detail was left aside, such as stability of the 11 and 12 meters high lanterns. Such a prestigious project on the Grand-Place of Brussels, which was registered on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO in 1998, is extremely complex and requires a large amount of preparatory work because of the regulations linked to such a place. The company took care of the contacts with the city authorities, the police and the fire brigade included, and managed to obtain the necessary approvals to exhibit the lanterns through efficient coordination. The project-related interpretation and translation services, as well as daily assistance to the Chinese handicraftsmen, were also provided by Atlas International Culture, helping the organization running smoothly.
Along the Chinese Lantern Expo, Atlas International Culture assisted with the organization of a series of celebrating occasions and cultural activities in Brussels, including an official reception with performances at the City Hall of Brussels and the Lighting up ceremony on the Grand-Place. Several high officials attended these inaugural occasions with thankful and hopeful speeches; they were invited to light up the lanterns themselves on the Grand-Place and were gathered under the same blue roof tile of the Temple of Heaven, symbolizing the union between the different parties : Ambassador ZHANG Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Ambassador QU Xing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Belgium, Mr YANG Xingping, Vice Governor of the Sichuan Province, Mr SHEN Xin, Director General of the Department of European and Asian Affairs, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Ms ZHOU Bo, Counsellor of the Mission of China to the European Union, Ms Lowri Evans, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ms Irmfried Schwimann, Deputy Director-General, DG GROW-European Commission, Mr Eric Philippart, Special Counsellor for the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, DG GROW-European Commission, Mr Philippe Close, Mayor of the City of Brussels, Ms Karine Lalieux, Deputy Mayor of the City of Brussels, Mr Elio Di Rupo, former Belgian Prime Minister.
Light the Heart of Europe happened at the same time as Bright Brussels. These two events made this city of diversity look brighter than ever.