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April 11, 2021

Romania’s largest ever archaeological exhibition to open at MNIR in May

“China’s Treasures”, the most valuable ever archaeological exhibition in Romania – 109 pieces in all, representing prehistoric objects made of jade, vessels and bronze and porcelain statues and figurines of the Terracotta Army – will be on display at the  National Museum of  Romanian History (MNIR).

The exhibition will be open starting with mid-May, the MNIR announced.  “This is the most valuable archaeological exhibition Romania has hosted since its being a modern state, an exhibition including world importance pieces brought to Bucharest due to the goodwill and dynamic support from the Chinese Government, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Bucharest and the colleagues at the China International Exhibition Agency,” Mediafax quoted MNIR Director Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu as saying on Friday. The 101 sets on display consist of 109 pieces, which, the museum director says, the “Romanian public will be fond of” – soldiers and generals of the Xi’an army and a horse – as well as other valuable items from the Neolithic era – very rare painted ceramics, jade, bronze and porcelain objects, and statues stretching over some 7,000 years of Chinese history, from the Neolithic and up to the early 19th century.  The MNIR has made special preparations for the event, built a warehouse to store the exhibit items and is most likely to put in place the most special installations in the central hallway of the museum, from air conditioning equipment to giant exhibit structures, commensurate with the pieces on display. “The exhibition will greatly contribute to making Romanians more aware of the Chinese people and history, the exceptional achievements of this civilization that encompasses several millennia and, at the same time, will turn a new page in the history of cultural relations between Romania and China. In our turn, under the same conditions provided by the Chinese side, we intend to hold in 2014 a grand exhibition which could be entitled «Romania’s treasurers»,” said Oberlander-Tarnoveanu.The exhibition includes items from several museums of various Chinese provinces, with some of the objects from 11 museums from the Sanxi province, but also the Beijing Palace Museum and the Shanghai Museum.  Among them, five terracotta figurines – four soldiers and a horse. They are part of the famous terracotta army and are on display in Romania for the first time.The Chinese side demanded that special conditions be fulfilled in order for the exhibition to be shown in Romania, from the microclimate the MNIR must provide (the items will be stored in a special warehouse at temperature and humidity appropriate temperature and humidity level) and to proper security arrangements given the extremely valuable items to be put on display worth tens of millions of USD. The timeframe between the date the archaeological items were brought to the museum and that on which the exhibition opens is grounded in the need for the construction of special structures aimed at supporting the items, of which the largest is the terracotta horse, which along with its package, weighs nearly 1 ton (987 kilograms).   The bulk of the exhibition costs – international transport and item insurance, a few million USD, were paid for by the Chinese authorities. The MNIR paid an amount equivalent to the “budget of the director of the Museum of Romanian History for the minimal project in 2012,” said Oberlander.

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