Friday
14 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Largest Gandhara heritage exhibition opens in China’s Palace Museum

Federal Secretary Fareena Mazhar suggests exchange of Pakistani and Chinese scholars to observe things on both sides; learn more advanced techniques to preserve relics

BEIJING: The largest Gandhara heritage exhibition is opened at the Palace Museum in Chinese capital to showcase the cultural heritage of an ancient region, located in the present-day Pakistan and parts of south-east Afghanistan.

The region centered around Peshawar and Swat, though the cultural influence of Greater Gandhara extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region in Potohar plateau and westwards into Kabul in Afghanistan, and northwards up to the Karakoram range.

China’s Minister for Culture and Tourism Hu Heping inaugurated the exhibition – Gandhara Heritage along the Silk Road. Federal Secretary for National Heritage and Culture Division Fareena Mazhar, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque, senior Pakistani and Chinese officials and a number of Pakistanis attended the event.

‘Palace Museum will become a cultural meeting place for exchange and mutual building of civilizations’

The exhibition, organized by Department of Archaeology and Museums, National Heritage and Cultural Division, and the Palace Museum, featured a wide array of artefacts, sculptures, and other items that were representative of the Gandhara culture.

The exhibition, with a multimedia presentation, art installations, and interactive activities, will be continued for three months to help visitors understand the cultural history of the region. Over 170 art pieces from Pakistan’s various museums showcased at the Palace Museum.

Addressing the audience, Federal Secretary Fareena Mazhar said that this event was also an important part of the Year of Tourism Exchanges being celebrated by Pakistan and China this year. She hoped that a large number of people from both countries, including government officials, academics, and members of the public would attend this exhibition and learn more about Gandhara Heritage.

“This Gandhara exhibition is a great opportunity for Pakistanis and Chinese to learn more about each other’s culture and history,” she said, adding that the exhibition will also help strengthen the relations between the two nations and promote mutual understanding.

Fareena Mazhar says exhibition is an important part of Year of Tourism Exchanges being celebrated by Pakistan and China this year
Fareena Mazhar says exhibition is an important part of Year of Tourism Exchanges being celebrated by Pakistan and China this year. Photo by Global Times

Ambassador Moin ul Haque welcomed the audience and said that Pakistani and Chinese cultures had several similarities. He said that the cultural exchanges would further strengthen all-weather friendship. The Pakistani delegation will also visit different historical places in Beijing.

At the opening ceremony, Palace Museum director Wang Xudong said that the museum, as an important bearer of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, will further become a cultural meeting place for the exchange and mutual building of civilizations. “We are honored that Pakistan can co-support the exhibition and provide a platform to showcase the relationship between the two countries.”

Preparations for the exhibition started in 2019, but the event itself had to be postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fareena Mazhar told Global Times newspaper that on the basis of this exhibition, extensive cooperation in cultural relic protection and personnel exchanges will be carried out, which will contribute more to the friendship.

Palace Museum is bearer of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization
Palace Museum is bearer of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. Picture by Global Times

“We are also planning on exchanging scholars from both countries, so Chinese scholars can visit our site and scholars from Pakistan can come and visit China,” she said. “Maybe they can have some time in the Palace Museum to see all the beautiful things that they have heard and learn more advanced techniques to preserve relics,” she noted.

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