ROME — A new exhibition at Trajan’s Market titled “Immortal Dead: Treasures from Sichuan in Ancient China,” curated by the museum’s deputy director, archaeologist Jinsha Wang Fang, recently opened and will run through Oct. 18.
The exhibition arrived in Rome following a run in Naples at the National Archaeological Museum, and contains 130 artifacts, to which 15 additional loans will be added when they arrive from China in May.
The show is a grand display of the myths of Chinese archaeology through the lens of the Sichuan civilization, which developed along the Min River, colloquially known as the Blue River.
Comprising digital reconstructions, photos, videos and interactive tools, the exhibition allows visitors to explore artifacts from the Sanxingdui and Jinsha archaeological sites from eight Chinese museums, amidst the backdrop of the ancient Roman site of Trajan’s Market, highlighting connections between ancient China and Imperial Rome.
Artifacts on display include ritual statues and vases, masks, daggers and scepters made of bronze, gold, jade and terracotta, dating back thousands of years to the Han Dynasty.
There are also lacquered-wood containers and portraits on brick, all of which make up an exhibition that abounds with enigmas and symbolism to give visitors a unique look at the culture of the Shu population.
Rome Deputy Mayor Luca Bergamo said the exhibition “strengthens relations between the two countries following the presidential visit” of China’s president Xi Jinping.
Bergamo said the location of the exhibition emphasizes “parallel paths between our culture and that of the Chinese.”
Wang Yi, director-general of the Sichuan province office of cultural heritage, said the show is “the first that testifies to the accord between Italy and China.”
He said the works on display “come from a province, Sichuan, that has a population of 80 million people who, thanks to the new air routes available to Rome, will now be able to travel more easily.” IAH