The Opening Ceremony of The Exhibition of The Bronze Age Civilization of Henan Province, China, “Royal Families and Their Vassals Along The Yellow River Valley” Held in Sweden
On May 25th, Swedish National Museum of the World Culture (SNMWC) witnessed the opening ceremony of The Exhibition of The Bronze Age Civilization of Henan, China, “Royal Families and Their Vassals Along The Yellow River Valley”, an exhibition jointly organized by the Henan Provincial Bureau of Cultural heritage and the SNMWC. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Dong Baohua, deputy director of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Chen Ailan, deputy director of the Henan Provincial Cultural heritage Bureau of China, as well as the Swedish government officials and delegates from different circles attended the ceremony.
In his passionate speech delivered at the ceremony, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden fondly recalled the early history when ancestors of the two countries began the cultural exchanges with each other and spoke highly of the Chinese civilization for its significant contributions to the human society.
Dong Baohua from China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage also delivered a speech. He said that, China and Sweden have maintained close cultural exchanges and that Henan Province of China had a special tie with Sweden. The year of 1921 saw the beginning of China’s modern archaeology, when the Swedish expert, Mr. Johan Gunnar Andersson, the then mining advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce of the Chinese government, conducted archaeological excavations on the site of Yangshao village, Mianchi county, Henan Province. Over the past years, the community of cultural relics of the Henan Province has used studies on the Yangshao Culture as a platform to foster growing communications and lasting friendship with the Swedish museums. It is believed that the success of the exhibition this time would lay a solid basis for the on-going cooperation between the two sides in such fields as museum management, protection and preservation of cultural relics, archaeological excavation and scientific research. It would also further the understanding and friendship of the two peoples and open a new chapter in the cultural exchanges of the two countries.
In her speech, Sanne Houby-Nielsen, director general of SNMWC, introduced the preparation the SNMWC has made for the exhibition, expressed a confident and enthusiastic wish for a continuing cooperation between the two sides and for adding a new chapter to the China-Sweden friendship.
The SNMWC comprises of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, the Museum of Ethnography, the Museum of Mediterranean and the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. In August, 2012, a five-year plan of cooperation was signed between the Henan Provincial Cultural heritage Bureau of China and the SNMWC, according to which an exhibition would be organized by the Henan side and held in the SNMWC every one or two years. The exhibition this time marks the first fruit of cooperation between the two sides. To ensure a successful exhibition, the Henan Provincial Cultural heritage Bureau conducted meticulous work and selected 117 sets of bronze artifacts (141 items) from Henan provincial Museum, Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Zhengzhou city Museum, Luoyang city Museum, Xinyang city Museum, Anyang city Museum, Guo State Museum in Sanmenxia city, all from Henan Province. The exhibition includes the majority of new discoveries from Henan Province in recent years and covers almost all types of the Chinese bronze ware, boasting the essence of Henan’s bronze artifacts. Thanks to the beautiful items, the Swedish people would have access to ancient social scene in the important historic period of China and the colorful, splendid Bronze Age civilization along the Yellow River valley. Also, the exhibition reveals the rich social spirit during the Bronze Age, restoring the time-honored, glorious Chinese civilization. The exhibition will continue to be displayed until November 17th, lasting 6 months. (Translator: Li Xiaohan)