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Kremlin 'Glitz' in Forbidden City

Two of the most ancient and spectacular buildings in the world have tied up for a joint exhibition.  The treasures of Russian tsars from the Kremlin went on display yesterday atop the former Chinese emperors' palatial complex of the Forbidden City. The exhibition, entitled "Treasures from the Kremlin," will run until January 8 next year at the new exhibition area atop the Meridian Gate at the southern entrance to the Forbidden City.


It features 200 fine and decorative Russian pieces of art from between the 16th and the early 20th century and they’re considered to be "among the most important exhibits of the Kremlin," said Irina Bobrovnitskaya of the Kremlin Museum.


"These priceless historical and artistic treasures used to be the most valued possessions of the tsars and their family members," she told China Daily. "They provide a palpable link to Russia's resplendent past."


They include ancient books from the royal library, the brass armor of Peter the Great and fine specimens of gold jewelry which are all testimony to the opulent life of Russia's ‘royals’ during the period before the founding of St Petersburg in 1703.


The exhibition also has a section devoted to the development of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Moscow has been the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church since the middle of the 14th century and the church had a historical ‘love-hate’ relationship with the Kremlin.


The Russian cultural relics had been given "the best space for such an exhibition among the Forbidden City's legendary 9999.5 rooms," said Ma Jige, director of the exhibition department of the Palace Museum, the administrative organ of the Forbidden City.


The hall on the top of the Meridian Gate, which was refurbished last year, will host the British and Spanish royal collections next year and art from the French Louvre Gallery in 2008.


(China Daily September 29, 2006)


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