The first major exhibit in France dedicated to the Philippines and its wide variety of art forms will be held at the prestigious Musee du Quai Branly in Paris from April 9 to July 14, 2013.
Among the items for display include the Bagobo warrior armor and shield, Manunggul secondary burial jar, Tausug ritual textile, Oton funerary mask and part of the extensive gold collection of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Committee on Cultural Communities, expressed elation over the exhibit as it will introduce Philippine indigenous art and culture to a global audience.
She personally welcomed Stéphane Martin and Constance de Monbrison, president and curator, respectively, of the Musée du Quai Branly, who are currently in the Philippines to discuss the project with concerned agencies, officials and personalities.
The exhibit, dubbed ''Philippines: Archipelago of Exchange,'' brings together a selection of works chosen from public and private collections in the Philippines, the Americas and Europe, including ornaments, jewelry, baskets, weapons as well as magical and ritual objects.
''We're very fortunate that the Philippines was chosen as the featured exhibiting country at Musée du Quai Branly - the premier museum in France for indigenous art and culture. Through the agreement to loan Philippine artwork and artifacts for the exhibition, we are bringing Filipino artistry, craftsmanship, and heritage to a world audience,'' she said.
Legarda explained that the exhibit, a joint project of France and the Philippines, is another opportunity to create awareness about the Philippines' rich heritage to the international community.
''Through this, we reaffirm our commitment to promote Filipino artisanship, uphold traditions that give meaning to our identity, and express pride in our unique history,'' she stressed.
Legarda has taken several initiatives to further promote Philippine culture to Filipinos and foreign citizens alike. She has set up several cultural exhibits to showcase exceptional skills and world-class products of indigenous peoples.
The Quai Branly Museum features indigenous art, culture and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Its list of collections covers archaeology, sculpture, painting, textiles, drawings and tools, among others, from the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods to the 1st Century up to the 21st Century.