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  • 13February

    Archaeologists unearth 2,300-year-old cooking pot containing forelegs of a cow

    Unearthed in a tomb chamber near the Chinese city of Xinyang was a large clay pot.  Inside this pot were bones that have been analyzed as the forelegs of a cow.


    What cow bones were doing in this pot in a tomb is uncertain, but there are theories about them.  Jokingly penned as an ancient beef stew, the presence of the bones is currently little understood.

    What is known is that the bowl is a form of “ding,” and it has been dated back to the kingdom of Chu, which reigned in central and eastern China from 1,100 BC to 223 BC.  Also in the tomb are various other bowls and containers in various states of repair.

    More info : The Vintage News
  • 06February

    Lost Egyptian City Found Underwater After 1200 Years

    1,200 years ago the ancient Egyptian city of Heracleion disappeared beneath the Mediterranean. Founded around 8th century BC, well before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, it is believed Heracleion served as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world.

    Prior to its discovery in 2000 by archaeologist Franck Goddio and the IEASM (European Institute for Underwater Archaeology), no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found (the city was known to the Greeks as Thonis). Its name was almost razed from the memory of mankind, only preserved in ancient classic texts and rare inscriptions found on land by archaeologists.

    More info : Passion Galaria
  • 25January

    Why Clive of India’s treasures are up for export to Qatar again

    Two Mughal treasures brought to Britain by Robert Clive, the commander-in-chief of British India, also known as Clive of India, have been export-deferred again—13 years after an earlier attempt to send them from the UK to Qatar. 

    When Clive of India’s descendants consigned a very rare jade and gold flask decorated with emeralds and rubies along with a ruby and sapphire huqqa pipe to Christie’s in 2004, both were bought by Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, the culture minister of Qatar. After export licences were applied for, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), which wanted the flask, and the National Trust, which wanted the huqqa, set out to raise money to match the prices. But the Qataris then withdrew the licence applications, blocking any purchase. This led to calls for a reform of export procedures to prevent foreign owners thwarting UK museums. 

    Sheikh Saud, a distant cousin of the ruling emir, was one of the most prolific art buyers in the early 2000s. However, it was often unclear whether his acquisitions were for himself or for the Qatari state, and he was put under house arrest for a short time in 2005. He died in London in 2014.

    On 18 January 2017 the UK culture minister, Matt Hancock, announced that new export licences were being deferred on the two treasures, but the prices the UK institutions have to match have more than doubled since the first export application. The flask is now valued at £6m (£2,973,000 in 2004) and the huqqa at £240,000 (£98,000 in 2004). Both pieces were made for the Mughal court and were brought back by Clive of India after his victory in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The flask dates from the early 17th century and the huqqa from the mid 18th century.

    After the Qataris withdrew the export licence applications in 2005, they were required to keep the objects in the UK. The flask and huqqa were lent to the V&A’s 2009 Maharaja exhibition and are still on loan to the museum. Although the flask travelled with the exhibition when it toured to Munich, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago and Richmond (Virginia), the huqqa is very fragile (its enamel is flaking off) and has remained at the museum.

    Last year the V&A was told that the loan agreement for the two treasures would not be renewed. Qatar Museums wants to display them in Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art, which opened in 2008. The V&A and the National Trust are now considering whether to try to make matching offers, despite the increased prices. The initial deadlines run to 17 April for the huqqa and 17 May for the flask, although they could be extended. This time, the hope is that Qatar Museums will not simply withdraw the export applications if UK buyers step forward. 

    More info : Art Newspaper
  • 18January

    Sunken, 600-year-old Buddha emerges from water in China

    Beijing, China (CNN)A 600-year-old Buddha statue has been discovered in a reservoir in east China's Jiangxi Province after water levels fell during renovation work.

    A local villager first spotted the head of the Buddha last month when the water level fell by more than 10 meters during work on a hydropower gate, official state news agency Xinhua reported. 
    More info : CNN
  • 12January

    Bangladesh National Museum to be the first museum this year, from Bangladesh to join the VCM

    The VCM team is very much delighted to announce that Bangladesh National Museum has joined the VCM as the 138th participating museum! 


    The Bangladesh National Museum (BNM) is a national institution devoted to collection, preservation, exhibition and research works on the artifacts of historical, cultural and natural heritage. In 1983 on 17 November BNM was opened to the public incorporating the Dhaka Museum. The Dacca Museum was formally inaugurated by Lord Carmichael in a single room of the secretariat on 7 August 1913. The relics of ancient Bengali civilization representing Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and other tribal people, the archaeological artifacts and the specimens of glorious Liberation War are the most significant objects of BNM. The museum has the largest collection of historical objects, sculptures, terracotta plaque and wood, architectural pieces of stones and woods, coins, ornaments, inscriptions, manuscripts, documents, metal works and paintings are important one. In addition museum has good collections of medieval arms and weapons, ivory works, boats, embroidered quilts, woodcarvings, wooden furniture, musical instruments, textiles, ceramics, objects of folk arts, contemporary arts and world civilization.


    The museum displays its objects in 44 galleries within a total exhibition area of more than 20,000 square meters.


    See the masterpieces of the Bangladesh National Museum here!





  • 06January

    Mural found in north China ancient tomb

    Archaeologists have found murals dating back more than 900 years in a tomb in north China's Shanxi province.

    The tomb, from the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234) is in Zhangzi county.

    The colorful murals are largely painted on a white background. The upper part features acts of filial piety, said Zhang Guanghui, a research fellow with Shanxi provincial archaeological research institute.

    Beneath, the murals depict people working and cooking. Flanking the gate of the tomb, there are images of herdsmen and cattle.

    The pictures are adorned with floral, animal and cloud motifs, Zhang said.

    "We have seen several tombs with murals from the Jin Dynasty, but such well-preserved ones are a rarity," he said.

    The tomb was found last April and reported as robbed. Artifacts and the bodies are missing, making it difficult for Zhang and his team to identify the original occupants.

    "Judging from the murals, however, we can deduce that the owners may have been aristocrats. They were certainly rich," he added.

    The tomb is now under the protection of the Museum of Shanxi.

    More info : ECNS.CN
  • 29December

    Yoga joins Unesco world heritage list
    Yoga, the mind-body discipline based on ancient Indian philosophy and now practised all over the world, has joined Unesco’s list of intangible world heritage.
    It was added to the prestigious list in recognition of its influence on Indian society, from health and medicine to education and the arts, the world heritage committee said in a statement.
    “Designed to help individuals build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation, [yoga] is practised by the young and old without discriminating against gender, class or religion,” Unesco added in a tweet.
    The list of intangible cultural treasures was created 10 years ago, mainly to increase awareness about them, while Unesco also sometimes offers financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect them.
    On Wednesday, the Paris-based UN body added Cuba’s rumba dance and Belgium’s beer culture to the list, which also includes the Mediterranean diet, Peking opera and the Peruvian scissors dance.
    Unesco began compiling a list for cultural and natural world heritage – physical properties such as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat or the Grand Canyon in the United States – in 1972.
    The list now comprises 814 cultural sites, 203 natural ones and 35 with both natural and cultural qualities such as Australia’s Uluru national park, formerly known as Ayer’s Rock.
    The committee concludes its review of nominations to the list of “representative intangible cultural heritage of humanity” on Friday.


    More info : The Guardians
  • 27December

    Vietnamese National Museum of History to launch exhibition on Vietnam's National Treasures

    The Vietnam National Museum of History (VNMH) is now keeping 16 objects which have been recognized as Vietnam's National Treasures.


    They are: Ngoc Lu drum; Hoang Ha drum; Dao Thinh jar; Statue of a panpipe-playing couple piggybacking; Bronze lamp in the shape of a kneeing man, Bronze royal seal "Mon ha sanh an"; Pottery jar with swan patterns; Canh Thinh bronze drum; Book "Duong Kach Menh" of Nguyen Ai Quoc; Book "Nhat ky trong tu" of Ho Chi Minh; Handwriting of President Ho Chi Minh for calling of national resistance; Viet Khe boat coffin; Bell of Van Ban pagoda; Gold seal "Sac menh chi bao"; Stele of Nam Giao palace; Vo Canh Stele.

    VNMH is the national museum holding around 200.000 artifacts and documents which are said to be very valuable as they are representatives for Vietnamese history, culture and civilization.

    At the moment, VNMH is the institution keeping the most national treasures with 16 ones. By January 2017, those objects will be displayed in the exhibition of VNMH in Hanoi. Together, the related documents such as the drawings, the plates and illustrations as well as video clips displaying the process of the discovery, study and scholar's comments will be displayed under 3D technology.    

    More info : Vietnam National Museum of History
  • 20December

    Maritime Museum of Piran from Slovenia Joined the VCM

    The VCM is pleased to welcome a new participating museum, Maritime Museum of Piran!

    Founded as the Piran Town Museum in 1954, the Maritime Museum »Sergej Mašera" Piran is the central Slovenian maritime institution that collects, keeps, explores and publicly displays Slovenian maritime heritage as well as maritime heritage of the present-day coastal region that was inhabited in the past, and still is, by Romance population as well. The Museum boasts a rich archaeological collection, collections of sea fisheries, salt-making, shipbuilding and seafaring, a collection of marinist paintings and figureheads, ship models, nautical items and equipment, navy uniforms, and a cartographic collection.

    Check out the masterpieces of Maritime Museum of Piran here.

  • 08December

    Baekje kingdom's rich culture to be revisited in exhibition

    SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- Among many ancient kingdoms that came and went during the 5,000 years of Korean history, Baekje is one of the most culturally rich, with its influence spreading far beyond its borders.

    In the new exhibition "Baekje Historic Areas of World Heritage" that is to open Tuesday, the National Museum of Korea will showcase historic relics and cultural heritage uncovered from sites where the former kingdom was located. It is also to mark the one year anniversary of the Baekje Historic Areas being listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July last year. The Baekje areas are the 12th historic areas to be recognized by the U.N. agency.

    The exhibition is the first since the museum opened a similar event in 1999 focusing on the kingdom's unique culture and history that hold universal value, according to the museum.

    "Among many reasons that the areas were listed as a UNESCO Heritage site, Baekje's active exchange with neighboring countries and the uniqueness of its culture are the two biggest ones," said Yi Young-hoon, director-general of the museum, during a press briefing, a day before the official opening.

    The Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. - 660 A.D.), which used to stand in the midwestern region of Korea, is one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Koguryo and Silla. The UNESCO-registered areas cover eight archaeological sites including the Gongsanseong fortress and Jeongnimsa Temple Site.

    In the exhibition, some 350 pieces of the kingdom's artifacts are shown under three sections: capital cities, Buddhist temples and royal tombs.

    Even though Baekje was influenced by ancient Chinese culture, it reinterpreted and absorbed it in its own unique way and spread it to other Korean kingdoms and Japan, said Kim Jin-kyung at a briefing. Kim is the curator of the exhibition.

    On display will be be remains of houses, buildings, gardens and storage facilities that offer an interesting glimpse into the ordinary lives of people.

    The curator said through remains such as clay pipes, inscribed stones that were used to build a wall, roof tiles with stamped letters and various designs and stove pipes, it can be learned that the kingdom boasted not only highly developed city planning but also a fine living standard for the social elites.

    Among many noteworthy items include pieces of lacquered armor with inscriptions which are to be shown to the public for the first time since they were excavated in 2011.

    Epitomizing the essence of Baekje's culture, the museum cited "Simple but not shoddy, splendid but not opulent," a phrase taken from the book "Samguk Sagi," or the "History of the Three Kingdoms," which used the phrase to describe a palace that was built during the reign of King Onjo, founder of the Baekje Kingdom.

    "Watching the priceless cultural heritage that our ancestors left to us some 1,700 years ago, I ask myself what we can pass onto the generations to come after us," said the director-general. "I hope this exhibition brings the very same question to the minds of many Koreans."

       The exhibition runs through Jan. 30.

    More info : Yonhap News Agency
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