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50,000 visit Olympic Festival China show at Fitzwilliam Museum
Jade Suit, 2nd century BC, Western Han Dynasty. Length: 175 cm; Width: 68 cm. Unearthed at Shizishan in 1994-1995. Xuzhou Museum, Jiangsu Province.


CAMBRIDGE.- Over 50,000 people have visited the landmark exhibition The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge , which showcases ancient Chinese artefacts as part of the London Olympics 2012 Festival.

In the first exhibition of its kind, this show relates the story of the quest for immortality and struggle for imperial power in ancient China ’s Han Dynasty. Featuring over 350 treasures in jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics, it includes the unprecedented loan of two royal jade suits and the finest surviving example of a jade coffin.

Representing China ’s major cultural contribution to the UK for the Olympic year as previous hosts of the Olympic Games, the exhibition displays more Grade 1 listed objects than have ever been permitted to leave China before. Cambridge is the only location in the world where the displays are showing before these rare artefacts return to their museums in China .

Due to the exceptional nature of the displays, The Search for Immortality has also received a number of high profile international visitors including the HE Liu Xiaoming, the Ambassador for China , Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand , and the Director and curatorial team of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Curator Dr James Lin commented: “We are delighted that numbers to The Search for Immortality have exceeded our most optimistic expectations. We are not even halfway through the span of the exhibition and have already had 50,000 visitors. We hope that many more visitors will take this unprecedented opportunity to see this exhibition before it closes on 11 November.” Admission is free.

The exhibition will also host an international conference entitled Life and afterlife in Han China on 2 and 3 October 2012*, bringing together over fifteen leading sinologists and art historians from the UK, the US, continental Europe, as well as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.






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