The Capital Museum will show some of the rarest relics from the Tibet autonomous region, such as a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) statue of a Tibetan Buddhist abbot. (Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily)
Capital Museum in Beijing is to start its Chinese New Year celebrations with a major display.
The Capital Museum in Beijing is all set to hold one of the year's most anticipated exhibitions.
Cultural relics from museums and temples in the Tibet autonomous region and four other provinces have been borrowed for the Tibetan History and Culture display that will run from Feb 27 to July 22.
The show will provide a view of the rich culture, long history and aspects of daily life in Tibet, in addition to Tibetan Buddhism, which has been the main focus of such exhibitions in the past.
"The exhibition will help people from the rest of China to know more about Tibetan culture," says Han Zhanming, director, Capital Museum.
"It will also help people understand how the country's different ethnic groups get united with diversity."
While the exhibition catalog has yet to be released, a glimpse of several selected items at the museum's warehouse, opened to media on Monday, showed that it will be full of surprises.
For example, a statuette of Gautam Buddha from the 8th century shows Tibet's communication with other civilizations.
The statuette is from the early age when Buddhism was established as the dominant religion in Tibet, and shows the typical art style of Gandhara, an Indo-Aryan area in ancient South Asia, says Zhang Jie, curator of the exhibition.
"And, it showcases artistic styles from India's Gupta period," Zhang says. "Lines on the Buddha's face also show Greek influence."
Two other exhibits from the third century－a gold mask and a piece of silk－showcase the lesser-known Zhangzhung kingdom in today's Ngari prefecture in Tibet.
The piece of silk features Chinese characters wang hou (prince and marquis), which Zhang says shows a close link between Tibet and other places in China at the time.
Both exhibits are from archaeological discoveries in recent years.
Zhang also says there are exhibits that have never been shown publicly before, like the earliest tea leaves in China, and some documents showing how the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperors helped locals in Tibet to construct infrastructure, fight against foreign invaders and improve livelihoods.