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IOC chief hails first China trip since Beijing Olympics


JINAN, East China, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge visited the largest-ever Chinese Sports Art Exhibition on Friday in Jinan of eastern China's Shandong province, praising the great Chinese artworks which embody the value of the Olympic movement.

As part of his on-going China trip, Rogge attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition together with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong. Addressing the occasion, he said the exhibition highlights how much sport combines with art and culture, which is the heart of the philosophy and value of the Olympic movement.

"Such an exhibition has also an important educational significance to the artists inspired by sports or the visitors who have the pleasure to discover how this has done," said the 67-year-old, who was re-elected as the IOC president last Friday at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen.

The exhibition, which features creativity and innovation, is the largest national art exhibition with the theme of sports. Altogether 368 works from artists around China, including oil and liquor paintings, printmaking, posters and sculptures, are on display from Oct. 16-22.

Rogge, who is here for the 11th Chinese National Games, said he was pleased to be back in China for his first visit to the country since the 2008 Olympics.

Later on Friday, Rogge will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and attend the opening ceremony of the National Games.

Before arriving in Jinan, the IOC chief visited Beijing and was awarded "honorary citizen" of the Chinese capital.



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