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Shimao Maritime Silk Road Museum opens in China’s Fujian Province

Shimao Maritime Silk Road Museum opens in China’s Fujian Province
January 22, 2021

A new museum focusing on the history and culture of the Maritime Silk Road has opened at Shishi in China’s Fujian Province.

A collaboration between real-estate company the Shimao Group and Beijing’s Palace Museum, the Shimao Maritime Silk Road Museum showcases around 2,000 historic items - including porcelain and jade, through paintings and calligraphy, as well as silk items - that tell the story of the famous historical sea route.

Exhibits occupy an internal area covering more than 11,000 metre².

The Maritime Silk Road was a vital element of the historic Silk Road, the economic and cultural bridge between east and west that connected China with more than 100 countries and regions, from Quanzhou and coastal China to East Africa, Arabia and Europe.

Introducing the Museum in a conversation with CGTN, Hui Wing Mau, Chairman of Shimao Group, advised “Quanzhou was the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and the city of Shishi is also my hometown

“The culture of the Maritime Silk Road spread to Southeast Asia and other countries from here. That’s why I built this museum right here.”

Beijing’s Palace Museum supported the design and construction of the building and will play a major role in its operations. It will also loan exhibits - over 300 items from its collection relics are presently on display - and will host temporary exhibitions at the new museum.

Explaining that such collaborations are a good model for the future, Palace Museum Director, Wang Xudong stated “they set a good example to private museums”, suggesting that national museums can offer their expertise and experience to help private museums better preserve and manage collections.

Developed to highlight what it calls the “neglected history” of the ancient route, the new Museum also offers digital and interactive multimedia alongside its physical displays.

It expected that it will collaborate with a wide range of other museums, both national and international, to explore the route more thoroughly.

There are also hopes that the new museum might encourage UNESCO to look more favourably on the possibility of designating the Maritime Silk Road a world intangible heritage.

Image: Quanzhou China/Facebook

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