Chile gets a dose of Chinese culture
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.”