Chile gets a dose of Chi­nese cul­ture

China Daily (USA) - - XI’S VISIT - By WANG KAIHAO in Bei­jing wangkai­hao@chi­

In the past few months, a For­bid­den City has taken shape at the foot of An­des.

The cul­tural cen­ter of the Chilean pres­i­den­tial palace in San­ti­ago has been dressed up in red since Sept 2 to em­brace na­tional trea­sures from the Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing.

About 120 sets of cul­tural relics from the mu­seum, also known as the For­bid­den City, cov­er­ing two themes — the em­per­ors’ dig­nity and queens’ se­cret harems — are on dis­play there.

The For­bid­den City was China’s im­pe­rial palace from 1420 to 1911, and more than 1.8 mil­lion sets of cul­tural relics are now housed there.

This is the first time that pieces from the mu­seum are be­ing ex­hib­ited in South Amer­ica.

Ac­cord­ing to Ding Meng, the cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion, the ar­ti­facts taken to Chile com­prise paint­ings, porce­lain, tex­tiles, bronze ware and jade, among other items.

Nine sec­tions were cre­ated to show­case dif­fer­ent as­pects of the for­mer royal fam­i­lies’ daily life, in­clud­ing learn­ing, ban­quets and re­li­gious be­liefs.

“Repli­cas of the rooms in the palace like the throne room and the em­per­ors’ study are also on dis­play,” said Ding.

The Chileans are en­thu­si­as­tic about Chi­nese cul­ture.” Yang Changqing, first sec­re­tary of the cul­tural divi­sion of the Chi­nese Em­bassy in Chile

“Tra­di­tional Chi­nese mu­sic in­stru­ments are also been played at the venue as vis­i­tors travel through time and ex­pe­ri­ence life at the im­pe­rial court.”

More than 200,000 vis­i­tors had seen the ex­hi­bi­tion so far, ac­cord­ing to Yang Changqing, the first sec­re­tary of the cul­tural divi­sion of the Chi­nese Em­bassy in Chile.

Lec­tures, folk art per­for­mances and in­ter­ac­tive games for chil­dren are also part of the event.

The last ma­jor Chi­nese cul­tural relics ex­hi­bi­tion in Chile was in 2010 when the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors were in the coun­try. That dis­play at­tracted more than 330,000 vis­i­tors.

“The Chileans are en­thu­si­as­tic about Chi­nese cul­ture,” she said. “And (with this ex­hi­bi­tion) we can ex­pect an­other wave of en­thu­si­asm for Chi­nese cul­ture.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which will run un­til Nov 27, is a key event mark­ing 2016 as the Year of China-Latin Amer­ica Cul­tural Ex­change.

In Lima, Peru, an ex­hi­bi­tion com­pris­ing 121 sets of cul­tural relics from China takes vis­i­tors on a tour of an­cient Chi­nese his­tory, start­ing with the West­ern Zhou Dy­nasty (11th cen­tury to 771 BC) to the end of monar­chy with the Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911).

The two-month dis­play kicked off at the Peru­vian Na­tional Mu­seum of Ar­chae­ol­ogy, An­thro­pol­ogy, and His­tory on Oct 8. It is Peru’s first com­pre­hen­sive cul­tural relic ex­hi­bi­tion on loan from China.

Speak­ing about the links be­tween the two coun­tries, Li Tiankai, cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion, said: “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween China and Peru can be dated back to the 16th cen­tury via the Mar­itime Silk Road. And the ear­li­est Chi­nese im­mi­grants ar­rived in the coun­try in 1849.”

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