Beijing will see an antique show to illustrate Sun Zi's Art of War during the Olympic Games, on which four famous ancient Chinese swords will make their first collective presence, announced the organizer.
The Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution will open the Sun Zi's Art of War and Military Relic Exhibition, the first of its kind in the world, from July 22 to September 20, said She Zhihong, the museum deputy curator on Tuesday.
He disclosed that four swords once owned by a king and a prince of the Spring and Autumn Period will be brought to the show.
"The exhibition has won support from many provincial museums in China, which leased us their collections to make a collective effort to recast Chinese warlords' practices of the Art of War, the world's earliest extant military book," She said.
Among the four swords, the most famous and legendary one is the Sword of Goujian, which was named after its master, king of the State of Yue during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.- 476 B.C.), when he led his troops in conquering the State of Wu, said the curator.
Two of the other three swords are also believed to have been used by the king, but they have different names -- the Sword of the King of Yue and the Sword of the King of Yue in the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period. The third one is believed to have been used by a prince in the Kingdom of Wu in the same period.
Among the 180 exhibits are also state treasures including 30-odd bamboo strips on which is written the original Art of War, a garrison map from the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), weaponry from the tomb of Marquis Yi of the State of Zeng, Han Dynasty bamboo strips, utensils used on the Han Dynasty battlefield and Tang Dynasty Terra Cotta warriors, the curator added.
He said that the exhibition's annotation will be in both Chinese and English. The museum also invited five leading Chinese experts on Sun Zi's Art of War to interpret obscure prose of the work in simple words.
The war strategy work, which is believed to have been written in the 6th century B.C. by war strategist Sun Zi, is the most widely applied military philosophical work in the world.
"By presenting the exhibition during the Games, the museum hopes to create an opportunity for foreign visitors to better understand China and the Sun Zi's Art of War," said the curator.