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Silks from the Silk Road: Origin, Transmission and Exchange

On the morning of Sept. 15th, 2015, the special annual exhibition of China National Silk Museum entitled “Silks from the Silk Road: Origin, Transmission and Exchange” is opened at the Hangzhou West Lake Museum. The exhibition is hosted by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and the People's Government of Zhejiang Province, and jointly assisted by eight provincial bureaus of cultural heritage of Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is organized by China National Silk Museum and wins supports from 25 other museums and archaeological institutes in China. The exhibition will be on show at the West Lake Museum until Oct. 15th,2015.


Guests present at the opening ceremony include officials from SACH and the provincial cultural heritage bureaus, as well as colleagues from the lending museums and archaeological institutes.  

The ancient Silk Road is the most important trade and cultural exchange channel between the East and West in ancient time. As the most significant carrier along the Silk Road, the silk and silkworm-raising as well as silk weaving techniques originated from China have been spread to the rest of the world through the channel. The silk production technology has been localized, producing an extremely great impact on the social, economic and cultural development in many countries in the world. Later on, with further exchanges, the Western weaving style also reversed to influence the silk production in China, and the traditional silk fabrics in China began to show Western themes and designing styles.


The exhibition will showcase nearly 140 pieces(groups) of precious collections selected from 26 museums and archaeological institutes.By displaying the silk and related items unearthed during the major time period and major route along the Silk Road, the exhibition demonstrates the origin ofsilk in China, the spread of silk from the East to the West and the exchanges of textile culture between the East and the West along the Silk Road.


As textile products are delicate and difficult to preserve, during the preparatory period of the exhibition, the Key SACH Scientific Research Base of Textile Conservation of the Silk Museum, conducted sorting and restoration to part of exhibited items, and reduced or relieved the harm to the textile products due to its unearthed age and environment, enabling the silk on the Silk Road for thousands of years to tell the public stories about the Silk Road in its best shape.


Meanwhile, the exhibition will also be launched online, as a result of collaboration between the China National Silk Museum andthe Zhejiang University. It’s available athttp://www.onelv.net/sc/tour.htmlandwww.chinasilkmuseum.com. And during the exhibition period, a small literature exhibition on the Silk Road will also be on show at the Library of the West Lake Museum, with support from the Research Center of Chinese Ancient History of Peking University and the Library of Zhejiang University.


As the exhibition coincides the overall renovation of China National Silk Museum, the venue of the exhibition is moved to the West Lake Museum to ensure a good environment for the cultural relics on display and the displaying effect of the show. China National Silk Museum will be open tothe public on July 1, 2016 with renewed vigor.


Tofurther promote the research and protection of the Silk Road, China National Silk Museum will join hands with related scientific research institutions athome and abroad to hold an international symposium on “Silks from the Silk Road: Origin, Transmission and Exchange” between Oct. 11 and 14, 2015 during the exhibition.


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