Big queues for fascinating world story told through 100 objects

Updated 2017-06-29 10:01:27 Shanghai Daily
Visitors look at the inner coffin of Shepenmehyt, an Egyptian woman who died about 2,700 years ago. The mummy, now owned by British Museum, whose acclaimed exhibition “A History of the World in 100 Objects” opens at Shanghai Museum today. The exhibition will run until October 8. (Wang Rongjiang)

Visitors look at the inner coffin of Shepenmehyt, an Egyptian woman who died about 2,700 years ago. The mummy, now owned by British Museum, whose acclaimed exhibition "A History of the World in 100 Objects" opens at Shanghai Museum today. The exhibition will run until October 8. (Wang Rongjiang)

Shanghai Museum is expecting long queues this summer with people wanting to see "A History of the World in 100 Objects" from the British Museum.

Inspired by the 2010 radio series and accompanying book, the exhibition aims to tell an extraordinary and fascinating story.

The objects appearing in Shanghai are not exactly the same as in the book, which was produced in partnership with the BBC and Penguin Books. Some items are too fragile to travel, said Belinda Crerar, the curator of the exhibition from the British Museum, so these were replaced with other objects.

But the British Museum is not short of alternatives — its collection of objects totals 8 million. Eight of the 100 on display in Shanghai are Chinese antiques.

The city is the second stop in China for the touring exhibition, following Beijing, and it has already traveled through Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

"In bringing these objects together, what becomes clear is not how different the past was, but how much we have always had in common with one another. This is one of the reasons why a history of things is so satisfying. Objects can reveal information that has remained undiscovered or misunderstood for thousands of years," said Crerar.

Only 250 people at one time can see the exhibition, which opens today.

"We are expecting a large crowd for this exhibition," said Li Feng, vice director at Shanghai Museum. He advises people who want to see the exhibition to make reservations through Shanghai Museum's WeChat account seven days ahead.

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