The National Museum of China last week launched Silk Road, the country's highest-level exhibition so far on cultural relics discovered along the historical overland route, which continues through Jan 4.
The two-month long display, co-organized by the Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and several provincial governments, presents more than 400 exhibit items from 44 museums in 14 province-level administrative regions. It is developed from a previous nationwide touring exhibition that includes some 200 pieces from 21 museums in northwestern China.
"The Silk Road was a complex road network connecting the East and West and an artery for the different civilizations on the route to absorb one another's goods and cultures," says Song Xinchao, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. "It was a non-bellicose path for peaceful development, which created a fundamental tone for our exhibition today."
The exhibits cover a wide range of artifacts, including porcelains, textiles and stone carvings, that are ranked as top-grade national treasures. Song adds that the display also reflects the country's recent archaeological research achievements. Some items have never been shown to the public although they had been unearthed for decades.
"Top-tier experts will offer explanation of the cultural relics. A catalog of the cultural relics will also be published soon (in Chinese)," Song reveals.
"We'd love to extend the duration of the show and organize a tour nationwide. But as many exhibits are the most precious collections in the museums, I'm afraid we'll have to give them back as scheduled."