An exhibition with pieces representing the Maritime Silk Road, with porcelain, clocks and scientific instruments, among others, opens today at 18:30 at Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon.
Entitled ‘The Silk Sea Route – Museum of the Forbidden City’, the exhibition presents an image of the interaction and communication of the Ming and Qing courts in China with the outside world, according to the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage (DGPC), responsible for the organization.
For the exhibition, according to the DGPC, a collection of more than 1.8 million pieces was selected, including porcelain, jade pieces, glassware, enamel utensils, clocks and scientific instruments.
The pieces “present an image of the interaction and communication of the Ming and Qing courts with the outside world, demonstrating that this” road “was not only a flourishing trade route but also the link between imperial China and world civilization,” explains note.
The Palace-Museum, built on the site of the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasty, is China’s largest generalist museum, the organization said.
Its huge collection – from which the pieces for the exhibition come – comes mainly from the collections of the imperial courts.
These items included tax gifts from emissaries of the imperial court and states with which they had tax relations, gifts from foreign missionaries, tributes paid by subjects of the empire, items purchased or commissioned by the court, and imperial or local workshops products, inspired or imitating products foreigners.
The exhibition shows how this sea route opened imperial China to the outside world and specialities like porcelain, tea and silk that were shipped from the eastern and southern ports of the empire to all over the world, strengthening the country’s exchanges with the East, Southeast and West Asia and North Africa.