SHANGHAI : Dozens of ancient treasures that had been hidden in underground niches of Fahua Tower for centuries can now be seen in glass cases under soft light, telling visitors stories of the 800-year-old tower in the Shanghai suburbs.
An exhibition highlighting the history and excavated relics of Fahua Tower kicked off at Shanghai’s Jiading Museum in Shanghai this week, showcasing 80 sets of cultural relics unearthed in the tower, such as jade, pottery, porcelain, ancient books, paintings and calligraphy.
This is the first time that Fahua tower relics have been systematically and comprehensively shown to the public, Yuan Yejun, the museum’s office director, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
In the exhibition hall, Yuan mentioned some of the top exhibits, including a white jade statue of a dancer from the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). The milky-white jade has a smooth and glossy texture, and is elaborately carved into a dancing woman wearing a beautiful long dress and a crown. “Experts said it represented the highest level of jade carving at that time,” said Yuan
Another major exhibit is a black jade sculpture of a mother monkey and four baby monkeys from the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). The monkeys are vividly carved in a fist-sized piece of jade.
The two treasures were both discovered by archaeologists at Fahua Tower’s underground palace in 1996. As well as showcasing the unearthed relics from the tower, the exhibition also tells the archaeological and repair stories of the tower.
Fahua Tower is located in Shanghai’s suburban Jiading district. (Photo: Lu Ting/GT)
Located in Shanghai’s suburban Jiading district, Fahua Tower, formerly known as Jinsha Tower, was originally built during the Kaixi period of the Southern Song Dynasty (1205-1207). Shanghai was an important port on the ancient Maritime Silk Road at that time, and the tower was regarded by the passing ships as a leading landmark.
The tower has been renovated many times over the past 800 years. A recent repair, which started in April and ended in August, preserved the tower’s main historical features while eliminating potential security risks.
The exhibition is jointly hosted by the Jiading Museum and the Shanghai Museum, and will run until October 31.