A photo on show taken by Bruno Barbey in 1973 shows students at the Tian'anmen Square to greet visiting then French president Georges Pompidou. [Photo provided to China Daily] In the first half of the 20th century, France was the top destination for young Chinese artists to brush up their techniques and broaden their perspectives. They then returned home, to refresh the Chinese art world of that time. To mark this important historic connection between Chinese and French art circles, the National Art Museum of China, which houses a considerable collection of French art, is presenting the Heritage Immortal exhibition until Sunday (Dec 20), showing paintings, prints, sculptures and mixed-media works by members of the French Academy of Fine Arts at the Institut de France. Wu Weishan, director of the National Art Museum, said the exhibition centers around how the featured artists, nurtured by the rich French culture, kept pushing forward the forefront of art. "It hails the sincerity and friendship of a scholarly community, of which the members impart in their work utmost humanity, warmth and love," Wu said, also a correspondent member of the French Academy of Fine Arts.