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Richard Gere And Dalai Lama Announce Center for Tibetan Culture

September 28, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ In an unlikely pairing of East and West, actor Richard Gere greeted the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet at a reception Monday to announce plans for the creation of a center for Tibetan culture in New York.

″I can’t believe this is happening,″ Gere blurted as he introduced the Dalai Lama, wearing his traditional maroon and gold robes, to a packed gathering of artists, museum curators, reporters and photographers at the Carlyle Hotel.

The actor, dressed in a gray linen suit, raised his hands in a prayerful posture and bowed his head as the Dalai Lama, who referred to Gere as ″my old friend,″ stepped to the podium and returned the gesture.

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of 6 million Tibetan Buddhists, was completing a 10-day tour of the United States during which he sought support for an end to Chinese domination of Tibet.

Gere, a disciple of the Dalai Lama and star of ″American Gigolo″ and ″An Officer and A Gentleman,″ interrupted filming a movie in Iowa to attend the announcement. He is chairman of the board of Tibet House, a center to focus American attention on the cultural and religious heritage of Tibet.

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