An exhibition on the Chinese architecture along the ancient Silk Road kicked off at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) on Thursday, highlighting the traditional Chinese culture such as harmony between man and nature and respect for legacy and innovation.

Divided into four parts historical Chinese architecture, architecture on the ancient Silk Road, cultural artifacts, and modern architectural design and urban landscaping the exhibition, A Living Story of Two Millennia: Past and Present of Chinese Architecture, brought a host of pictures, videos and models on the historical evolution of Chinese architecture along the ancient Silk Road and its artistic design, as well as the philosophy that inspired it.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Michael Moller, Director General of UNOG, said the exhibition opens the door to Chinese culture and philosophy through architecture, of which the central tenets have been harmony between man & nature, openness and inclusiveness, respect for legacy and innovation, and dynamic balance.

He added that these principles find deep resonance in Geneva, home of multilateralism and capital of peace, as well as in the core values of the United Nations such as multilateralism, international cooperation, and sustainable development.

Li Song, deputy permanent representative of China to the UNOG, said that in these exhibits, be it a palace, a temple, a pavilion, a garden, or a residential construction, there is a unifying philosophy behind them, and that’s harmony and unity, to which the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilisation owes its life.

“It’s also the essence of the silk road spirit, which is peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” Li added.

The exhibition, which will last until May 3, is part of the celebration of Chinese Language Day, selected by the United Nations on April 20, 2010.