On September 29, 2021, Dr. Attila Simon, CEO of Herend Porcelain Manufactory, and Hajime Furuta, Governor of Gifu Prefecture, Japan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friendly Cooperation based on mutual respect.
Dr. Norbert Palanovics, Ambassador of Hungary to Tokyo, also honoured the signing ceremony with his presence. In view of the pandemic, the signing took place in a live online space after two years of preparation.
In his greeting, Governor Hajime Furuta stressed that Gifu Prefecture is a dominant centre of Japanese ceramic production, dating back to the 7th century, a region that has had a major influence on Japanese and world porcelain and ceramic art. The governor welcomed the friendly cooperation between Gifu Prefecture and the world-famous Herend brand, which will result in a Herend porcelain exhibition in Mino this year, featuring Herend works of art not previously seen by the Japanese public.
During the signing ceremony, Dr. Attila Simon emphasized that it was an honour for him to welcome a delegation from Gifu Prefecture in Herend in May 2019. The meeting at that time was followed by diligent work, which now results in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Friendly Cooperation between Gifu Prefecture and the Herend Porcelain Manufactory Ltd. committing themselves to organizing mutual cultural exhibitions in the future to showcase their own cultural and traditional values, also for distant cultures. The Parties are happy to mutually provide an opportunity for the other party’s porcelain artists to create in Herend or Gifu Prefecture and then to present the results of their work in each other’s cultural institutions. Gifu Prefecture and Herend are connected by a commitment to porcelain art, the respect for hand-making, the humility to raw materials and the value-creating work.
Dr. Attila Simon emphasized that he is honored that, as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding on Friendly Cooperation to be signed, Herend porcelain can present itself at the 2021 Mino International Ceramics Festival, which also justifies filling this cooperation with real content. He is convinced that the document to be signed, in addition to being an example for others to reap the benefits of cross-border artistic, cultural and economic cooperation, will also lead to the creation of works of art that are valuable to future generations as well and will help make ceramics and porcelain objects attractive for 21st century people as well.
Dr. Norbert Palanovics, Ambassador of Hungary to Tokyo, welcomed the fact that Gifu Prefecture, which has had long-standing relations with Hungary in several areas, is expanding its cooperation to include porcelain production and related cultural aspects. He looks forward to all the successes that will result from the development of exchanges and a deeper understanding of each other’s porcelain-making traditions. Gifu and Herend have so far been open to developing relations with foreign countries and seeking to learn about different cultures. He believes that with this Memorandum of Understanding on Friendly Cooperation, all this will take on an even more tangible form and result in long-term relations.