With an eye for how the arts can serve as a means of promoting her home country and business relations with the U.S., Lucita Alam, the Netherlands’ consul general based in Miami, visited Atlanta Oct. 15 for the opening of an exhibition of Bible illustrations at Emory University.

Entitled “Scripture for the Eyes,” the exhibition contains a collection of 80 engravings and woodcuts by the foremost Dutch and Flemish masters of the 16th century. The illustrations are on loan from 13 institutions including Antwerp’s Plantin-Moretus Museum and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands.

Ms. Alam told GlobalAtlanta during a reception at Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum celebrating the opening of the exhibition that she supports cultural events of this type because they underscore the Netherlands’ cultural values such as tolerance, freedom of expression and entrepreneurship, which her country shares with the U.S.

New Yorkers have been celebrating the 400th year of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the area around modern New York. In 1609, the English seafarer was seeking passage to the Northwest Passage on behalf of the Dutch East India Co. Instead of discovering that route to the East Indies, he laid the foundation for Dutch colonization in North America.

For the past year, Dutch royalty and senior government officials have been attending a wide variety of celebratory events in New York.

While Atlanta can’t claim the extensive cultural and investment ties between New York and the Netherlands, Ewoud Swaak, the Netherlands’ honorary consul based in Atlanta for both Georgia and South Carolina since 2006, said that Dutch investors are increasingly aware of opportunities in the South.

Ms. Alam in her remarks at the opening reception said that the Netherlands has invested more than $1 billion in Georgia. Mr. Swaak added that since he opened a real estate development office in Atlanta in 1994, he often has been called upon by Dutch businesses to introduce them to the area.

Walter S. Melion, Asa Griggs Candler professor of art history at Emory, is the curator for the exhibition. In his remarks at the reception, he explained the historical context during which the prints were made.

And he underscored that the translation of biblical texts into biblical images coincided with the translation of scripture for the first time into common languages, which were both entrepreneurial activities at the time.

The exhibition is to be on view until Jan. 24, 2010. For more information, go to www.carlos.emory.edu or call (404) 727-4282.