The New Franco-Chinese Institute (NIFC) in Lyon celebrates 100 years since the foundation of the Franco-Chinese Institute

On The July 6, 2021

Crédits : NIFC
Crédits : NIFC

For this anniversary event, the NIFC has completely revamped its museum, highlighting the economic and cultural ties that have linked France and China throughout its history. A temporary exhibition entitled “Les choses de ce monde” [Things of this world] by the artist Guillaume Dégé is also on display from May 29 to October 30, 2021.

The Franco-Chinese Institute in Lyon was founded on the site of the Fort Saint-Irénée (Lyon’s 5th district) in 1921, later becoming the New Franco-Chinese Institute (NIFC). Its original purpose was to prepare Chinese students for academic studies in France. Most of the students from the institute have contributed to the development of the Middle Kingdom. Some have left their marks on the history of modern China: renowned scientists, distinguished academics, celebrated authors and famous artists.

The NIFC is a cultural venue that also provides a space for exchange between universities and the various French and Chinese economic actors. In 2014, the Chinese President Xi Jingping began his state visit in Lyon and more specifically, at the New Franco-Chinese Institute.

The NIFC celebrates 100 years since its foundation with an eclectic cultural program. The museum, which opened in 2016, unveiled on May 29 a new permanent exhibition that sheds light on the relationship between China and France from antiquity to 1921 and retraces the genesis of the institute’s creation, which was also the first Franco-Chinese university in Lyon.

Touch-screen terminals are available to visitors, who can also discover the huge collection of Asian objects that belonged to Emile Guimet, an industrialist and passionate enthusiast of art and ancient civilizations. The collection also includes 24 enameled cast-iron plates signed by the Lyonnais painter Antoine Vollon, made between 1853 and 1854. They adorned dryers and steam machines, used to dry silk in the Lyon silk conditioning works. These plates have been lent to the NIFC by the Textile Arts Museum In addition, using virtual reality technology, visitors will be able to jump back in time and immerse themselves in the student world and the heart of the Fort Saint-Irénée, nicknamed “The Chinese Fort”.

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