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Romance of the stone

By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)

09:27, August 27, 2012

(Photo from China Daily)

A shared reverence for precious jade has started a dialogue between China and Mexico, and it's taking place at the Palace Museum in Beijing now. Zhang Zixuan discovers the essence of that meeting.

These are two of civilization's oldest cultures and they share a common appreciation of jade. Now, the most exquisite pieces from ancient China and Mexico are sharing display space at the ongoing exhibition Essence of Nature - Civilization of Ancient Jade in China and Mexico.

Jointly organized by the Palace Museum and Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and its National Council for Culture and the Arts, the exhibition was first hosted by the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico from March to June. It is now ready to solicit admiration from Chinese audience at the Palace Museum.

The exhibition also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Mexico.

"It is definitely a feast for the eyes looking at such an exhibition at both countries' biggest and best museums," says the Palace Museum's director Shan Jixiang.

China chose 100 pieces and groups of jade ware from its collection of more than 30,000 jade collections, spanning a historical period of 8,000 years.

"The Palace Museum is probably the only museum that owns a jade collection ranging from the Neolithic Age to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)," says Xu Lin, associate researcher of the Palace Museum's Ancient Ware Department, who is also curating this exhibition.

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