Exhibition: “Cosmopolitan Metropolis Along the Silk Road” | Sweden

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In the autumn of 2015, Sweden’s National Museums of World Culture, an ASEMUS member, re-open the doors to the Caverns on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm. In this underground environment, the visitor can travel through the metropolis of Luoyang City – a trading centre on the Silk Road during the Tang dynasty (618 – 907) that was one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. The exhibition “Cosmopolitan Metropolis Along the Silk Road” is on display from 12 September 2015 to 28 February 2016.

During the founding of the small town of Birka in Viking Sweden, and when Norsemen carried out trade and plundering, China experienced a period of economic stability and cultural development. The Tang dynasty was a period in China’s history when poetry, science and commerce flourished. The era was also characterized by court intrigue, rebellion and war. It was also the time when China’s only female emperor, Wu Zetian, came to power.

In this exhibition in the Caverns, it is possible to travel back to the Tang Dynasty cultural capital of Luoyang. The visitors enter the city gates through the Silk Road to explore the city and meet the people who lived and worked there. The exhibition includes spectacular objects that come directly from famous historical figures, such as Wu Zetian and the famous poet Bai Juyi. Long before Marco Polo’s travels came travelers from far and wide to China – a country where foreign goods and ideas were welcomed, where women had greater opportunities to move freely, become educated and even take power.

A dramatised story also makes the exhibition into an exciting adventure for families. A thief has stolen the female emperor Wu Zetian’s golden bowl. In order to solve the mystery, the visitor must go on an adventure through the city and the Cavern’s tunnels.

“Cosmopolitan Metropolis Along the Silk Road” is produced in collaboration with the Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage. Through a five-year cooperative agreement with the Administration, the Museums of World Cultures has the unique opportunity to show new archaeological finds and spectacular objects from the Tang Dynasty.

Public and group tours are available throughout the duration of the exhibition. For additional information, please visit http://www.varldskulturmuseerna.se/en/the-skeppsholmen-caverns/current-exhibition/cosmopolitan-metropolis-along-the-silk-road/

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