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Forbidden City Replica Debuts in Shanghai


A giant ox bone miniature of the Palace Museum in Beijing is part of the Sixth Masterpiece Expo of China Art & Crafts.


Visitors admire an ox bone replica of the Palace Museum, one of 12,000 artworks displayed at the 6th Masterpiece Expo of China Art & Crafts, which runs until November 8 at Super Brand Mall.


About 200 exhibits will be auctioned off to raise fund for the poor in Jiangxi Province


Made entirely of cow's bones, the sculpture is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, and has been hailed as a masterpiece.


The 6-by-8 meter work took 20 top craftsmen more than a decade to complete.



Bone carving or sculpting is a traditional Chinese art form. But connoisseurs say it's hard to find any existing work, which can match the sheer size and intricacy of the miniature Forbidden City.


Every palace is represented, complete with crane-shaped incense burners and auspicious animals, such as lions and unicorns in front of them. Some single palaces were put on display in the past, but this is the first time the entire Forbidden City has been represented.


The expo opened yesterday at the Super Brand Mall in Pudong, with nearly 12,000 artworks on show, ranging from wood carvings to antique furniture by artists from around the country.


But the highlight is the eight-meter-high and six-meter-wide bone carving of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-listed Palace Museum that took 20 craftsmen nearly 10 years to complete.


Shao jun, the organizer of the exhibition, said the artists used the bones from about 20,000 oxes.


"This art piece, in terms of materials, labor and size, clearly ranks the work as a world-beating achievement," said Shao.

The work has been praised for its intricate and detailed carving.


On november 7, about 200 pieces of artworks will go under the hammer in a special charity auction.


The money raised will go to an education foundation for the poor in Jiangxi Province.


(China.org.cn Shanghai Daily November 5, 2004)


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