The Tongguanyao Museum, focused on the Tongguanyao kiln and its 1,200 years of history, opened May 14 in Changsha, Hunan province. The museum displays more than 1,000 pieces of cultural relics related to the kiln, including 162 pieces salvaged from the Belitung shipwreck and collected from abroad, which are going on display for the first time. Meanwhile, a documentary series about the archeological site where the museum stands also started broadcasting.
The Belitung shipwreck, the oldest Arabic ocean liner found so far, was salvaged off the coast of Indonesia in 1998. It was made famous during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in 2017, as President Xi Jinping mentioned it as a witness to the maritime Silk Road.
Over 67,000 pieces of Chinese ceramic wares were salvaged from the sinking ship, including more than 50,000 pieces made at the Tongguanyao kiln. Most of the relics were bought by a Singaporean enterprise, while 162 pieces were obtained by the German collector Tilman Walterfang.
The management department of the Tongguanyao site signed an agreement on the collection of cultural relics with Walterfang on Sept 29, 2017, so that the 162 pieces returned to the site on last Nov 10 for the benefit of Chinese audiences.A cultural relic exhibited in the museum. [Photo/Icswb.com]
According to the leading official of the management department of the site, the Tongguanyao Museum is a special museum with the theme of "poetic earthenware" and the development history of ceramic culture at the Tongguanyao site in Changsha. It is located at the northwest corner of Tongguanyao National Archaeological Park, with an area of 11,436.5 square meters and an exhibition area of 6,272 square meters. The museum is mainly brown in color and seven of its exhibition halls interpret the culture of cultural heritage for the millennium.
Taking archaeological data as its core, the museum combines cultural relics, documents, sandbox models, recovery scenes, multimedia presentations, text and charts together with the most advanced display methods to lead visitors through the colorful society of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and help them explore the magnificent legend of Tongguanyao in Changsha.
“We will pay more attention to the preservation, utilization and inheritance of historical sites; accelerate the application for world cultural heritage; promote the rejuvenation of Tongguanyao; and strive to build the ancient town into a new business card for Hunan’s opening to the outside world, a new hot spot for tourism in an ancient town in China, and a new bridge for the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Kong Yucheng, secretary of the Wangcheng district committee of the Communist Party of China.
The museum opens free to the public before June 1, 2018.