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Gold of Chinese emperors on show in Ljubljana

Ljubljana, 16 August - A guest exhibition of gold jewellery and tableware from the Ming dynasty era (1368-1644) will open on Thursday evening at the National Museum in Ljubljana, featuring 145 selected items made during the reign of the Wanli Emperor (1573-1620).

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
Gold jewellery from the Ming dynasty era to be on display at the National Museum.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The Gold of Chinese Emperors exhibition features high-quality and prestigious items made in 1601, including jewellery, golden tableware and flower baskets and vases, according to the author of the exhibition, Daša Pavlovič.

According to her, the items have the artistic merit, they are invaluable and they rarely leave China. The exhibition is the first opportunity for Slovenians to see them, she said.

The museum says on its website that the items showed the social position of their owners, while depictions of dragons with five claws and phoenixes reveal connections with the imperial family.

It is possible that the items belonged to the imperial court, or they may have been given to members of the Imperial family.

Pavlovič added that a lot of the items had engravings of the imperial office confirming that they had the pure gold content of between 80% and 90%, and showing that they were made or finished in 1601.

"Some of the items are even labelled as the highest class of cultural heritage in China, so we are very honoured to be able to show them to the Slovenian public and other visitors," she said.

The items come from the Dong Bo Zhai collection of the Qujiang Museum of Fine Arts in Xi'an, whose director Tianyou Zhou expressed hope that the Slovenian public will recognise the art and craft of hand-made golden items.

The exhibition, which will be on display until 15 February, will be opened by Chinese Ambassador Ye Hao.

In return, the National Museum will set up next year in China an exhibition of porcelain and prehistoric ceramics.

zm/mab
© STA, 2018