Eurasian journalists visit Qingzhou Museum
A group of more than 20 press officials and journalists from Asian and European countries paid a visit to Qingzhou Museum in Weifang, Shandong province on July 3.
Qingzhou Museum is China's only top-level museum housed in a county, and welcomes about 300,000 visitors each year.
Press officials and journalists from Afghanistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Iraq and other countries and regions were impressed by museum's collections.
The museum houses about 4,000 items from the Xiangshan tomb, which dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), of which about 2,000 are on permanent display.
The museum's other permanent exhibition focuses on the hoarded Buddhist sculptures discovered at the local Longxing Temple built around the fifth century and demolished some 800 years later.
Some 400 Buddhist statues, neatly organized, were unearthed from a pit 8.7 meters long and 6.8 meters wide. Once excavated, the sheer richness of the Buddhist statues left the country aghast.
The discovery was ranked among the top 10 archaeological findings of 1996. The Buddhist statues span nearly five centuries with the earliest dated AD 529. Many sculptures feature a high halo carved in relief with intricate patterns that form the distinctive "Qingzhou style".
One of the museum's most valuable collections is an exam paper belonging to Zhao Bingzhong, who in 1598 won the title of zhuangyuan during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), an honor given to the scholar who achieved the highest score at the highest level of the Chinese imperial examinations.
It is the only original exam paper of a zhuangyuan preserved on the Chinese mainland. The paper features Zhao's suggestions to the emperor on how to improve his statecraft.
"We have never seen Buddha statues in our own country," said an official from Palestine, "I can feel the long history and culture of China and learn a lot from these statues."
"When I see the Buddha statues on display, I can feel the local government's care for the cultural relics. I hope our country can learn to value our cultural relics and protect them," said a journalist from the Philippines.
The event was part of the "Tell Shandong stories to the world – Eurasian press officials and journalists' tour of Shandong", which was jointly organized by the China International Publishing Group and the information office of the Shandong provincial government.
The foreign media group will visit the cities of Jinan, Zibo, Weifang and Qingdao over the course from June 30 to July 6 to get a better understanding of the province's long history, rich culture, and unique customs, as well as to find out how Shandong has become a competitive powerhouse in the new era.
A group of more than 20 press officials and journalists from Asian and European countries visit the Qingzhou Museum in Weifang, Shandong province on July 3. [Photo by Zhang Renyu/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Foreign journalists are enchanted by Buddhist statues displayed at the Qingzhou Museum, which boast a variety of sculpting techniques and ornaments, providing extensive information for both archaeologists and art historians. [Photo by Zhang Renyu/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Foreign journalists admire cultural relics displayed at the Qingzhou Museum in Weifang, East China's Shandong province on July 3. [Photo by Zhang Renyu/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]