If you want to have a good understanding of a country, especially a country like China with a 5,000 year history of ancient civilizations, visiting the country’s museums will be the most direct and convenient choice.
As early as over 3,000 years ago in the Shang Dynasty (c.16th-11th century B.C.), a house for preserving the state’s ancient books and records and collecting the court treasures appeared in China. It was one of the earliest museums in the world. Now over 2,000 museums of different types are spread over the vast territory of China, of which 750 are key historical munuments under state protection promulgated by the State Council. The museums emerged in China very early, and became larger and larger with the passage of time, a fact which reflects China’s long-lasting civilization, and embodies the Chinese people’s fine tradition of carrying forward ancient civilization.
In general, the museums in China can be classified into three types: The first type is the social and history museums, which display the development of China’s 5,000-year civilization, and are the comprehensive museums with the richest contents and densest culture: the second type is the natural science and technology museums, which mainly present the splendid achievements the Chinese people have won in science and technology, and where visitors can see the development traces of the Four Great Inventions (papermaking, printing, compass and powder) and other scientific and technological techniques of ancient China: and the third type is the art museums, which showcase the traditional Chinese culture and art and collect a large number of precious calligraphic works, paintings, works of art and rare treasures. In addition, the past few years have witnessed the rapid growth of many specialized museums, which involve various aspects of social life, and are the beneficial supplement to the art of museums.
No matter a museum belongs to which type, it is an epitome of the Chinese civilization, and image display of a great country that has once created splendor and experienced vicissitudes, and creating another wonder now in politics, economy, culture, science and technology and folk customs. Entering the Xi’an banpo Museum, visitors will be filled with deep veneration for the Chinese people’s hardships and their pursuit for beauty in the prehistoric age: In the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horsed Museums, visitors will gasp in admiration at the mightiness of The Qin Dynasty(221-207 B.C.) in Chinese history when facing the majestic Qin Shihuang’s buried sculpture legion: at the ruins of Sanxingdui in Sichuan, visitors will feel the limitation of human being’s cognitive ability when confronting the bronze sculptures with mysterious patterns: the magnificent halls in the Palace Museum in Beijing will make visitors have full confidence in the bright future of China. In a word, every step forward that Chinese people have made, and every rise, fall and change of Chinese civilization have been inscribed on the walls, bricks, tiles, silk and bronze wares of the Chinese museums.
At present, along with the constant development of China’s tourism, more and more friends will include the visit to the museums in their tourist itineraries. It is a very encouraging situation. We warmly welcome domestic and overseas friends to the Chinese museums. A museum is a door that will lead people to understand China better. Pushing a door and entering a museum, visitors will find a heart-shaking and pleasant spiritual entertainment.