Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  The future of an international trade hub at Lambert Airport may still be up in the air, but there will definitely be a St. Louis-China connection as of next year.

“It’s really a delight for me to welcome you all to what is a momentous occasion for the Garden, and indeed for the entire St. Louis region,” said Missouri Botanical Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson during a late-morning press conference Thursday.  “We are dedicating the year of 2012 as the ‘Year of China’.”

Dr. Wyse Jackson said they’re doing this in part to mark the completion of a 25-year-long project during which Garden personnel have been helping to catalog all 30,000-plus plant species found in China.

Beginning on May 26th, 2012 and running through August 19th, the Missouri Botanical Garden will host an international exhibition of 26 larger-than-life, lighted works of art from Zigong, China.

“Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night” is expected to attract visitors from throughout the country and even from overseas to experience one of China’s most treasured events and ancient traditions.

According to information on the website, elaborate outdoor sets crafted of silk, plastic and steel will celebrate Chinese culture through bold color, dazzling light and striking design.

Dr. Wyse Jackson pointed out the exhibition is the first of its kind and size in the United States, offering visitors a unique opportunity to witness a spectacle rarely staged outside of Asia.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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