by Marzia De Giuli
MILAN, Italy, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Hosting the World Expo in 2015 was a great opportunity for Milan to integrate into the world and enhance cooperation between Italy and China, artists said during an art exhibition in Italy.
The exhibition "From Shanghai 2010 to Milan 2015", which has gathered some 30 contemporary works by 13 women artists, kicked off Thursday in Rozzano, a town near Milan.
"We think the exhibition has paid homage to the development of Sino-Italy ties. I believe that, thanks to the Shanghai Expo, Milan will get a chance to step into the future," exhibition curator Barbara Pietrasanta told Xinhua.
Italy missed many opportunities in the past to enhance cooperation with China, she said.
"We fell far behind other European countries and we need to make up ground for that, because Italy has plenty of excellences, like its designs," she said.
Building a bridge between Milan and Shanghai Expo could help to fill that gap, she said.
Italy can learn many things from China to cope with challenges of the knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy, she added.
The art exhibition only selecting works of female artists highlights their ability, Pietrasanta said.
"The other half of the sky, as Chairman Mao Zedong called them, are particularly capable of integrating different cultures and signaling a desire for greater knowledge," said Clara Bartolini, another curator of the exhibition.
Pointing at a sculpture which shows four hands joining together as a symbol of bilateral friendship, she explained that all the works on display contained elements of the two cultures.
Born in Venice, the hometown of Marco Polo, who is widely believed to be the first westerner to reach China, Bartolini said that, like ancient explorers, she believed culture differences would generate new energies between countries.
"The themes of the Shanghai and Milan Expo, 'Better City, Better Life' and 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life', aim at a happy future. China and Italy share a millenary history which generates innovation capability and a rich food tradition to feed the world," she said.