Gateway to Maritime Silk Road NEWS


Gateway to Maritime Silk Road


Int'l Museum Day: Ceramics exhibitions tell Maritime Silk Road legacy

BY :Xinhua

UPDATED :2024-01-08

The fame of Chinese ceramics travels far along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Click to appreciate those treasures displayed in China's Fujian Museum and the Philippine National Museum of Anthropology. Let the delicate relics tell the millennium-old friendship between China and the world.
Today is the International Museum Day. The theme of this year is "Museums, Sustainability and Well-being". I am now at Fujian Museum in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou, the main venue for China's celebrations.

As Fujian province is the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, the museum holds a new special exhibition. Let's have a look.

The relics in this exhibition mostly come from museums in China's coastal provinces, recreating the history of the Maritime Silk Road, and harmonious exchanges between China and the rest of the world.

Flourishing between the 2nd century B.C. and the 15th century A.D., the Maritime Silk Road served as a gateway for trade and cultural exchanges between China and other countries. Port cities in Fujian province witnessed the golden history of the ancient sea route.

"Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China" was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2021.

The Changsha ware was found in the Tang shipwreck. No one can exactly say how the Arab ship sank more than a thousand years ago. But when the wreck was found in 1998, off the coast of Indonesia, it stunned the world.

"Museums are important places that protect and pass on human civilizations. They play an important role in promoting the exchanges and mutual learning of civilizations", said Gong Zhangnian, Deputy Curator of Fujian Museum.

Through museums, exchanges can be promoted with cultural artifacts serving as the carrier. That can help further enhance people-to-people ties and promote people-to-people bonds, Gong said.

Thanks to the marine shipbuilding technology, precious Chinese goods travelled to countries like the Philippines along the Maritime Silk Road. I am now at the Philippine National Museum of Anthropology in Manila. If you look at the delicate treasures behind me, you can get a convincing evidence of thriving maritime trade between China and the rest of the world.

Geographically close, the Philippines is a must-pass between China and the rest of the Southeast Asian region. China's ceramics collections at the museum date back to nearly 1,000 years ago. Ceramics from different areas of China were carried to port cities like Quanzhou and then shipped towards different destinations such as here in the Philippines.

The relics in the museums allow the history to speak for itself. From here, you can know that China and the Philippines share a millennium-long history of friendly exchanges.

"Museums are there to remind you of your past, but they also remind you of the ever-changing interaction with different types of people at different periods. So I guess that's one of the importance of the National Museum really is discovering your past while also maintaining relationships in the present. All people, generally, you need to go to your museum. You need you learn more about your history and also relationship with other people," said Bobby C. Orillaneda, Senior Researcher of Philippine National Museum of Anthropology.

Editor: Annie