Tibet exhibition draws appreciation from visitors

Updated: 2008-05-05 15:46

BEIJING -- An exhibition in Beijing on Tibet's past and present has drawn 12,700 visitors since it opened, according to organizers.

The exhibition, which opened at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities on April 30, comprises two parts: the History of Tibet and Feudal Serfdom in Old Tibet, and New Tibet Changing with Each Passing Day.

About 160 objects, more than 400 pictures and audio-visual material are on display, telling of the vicissitudes of Tibet over the past 700 years, and the last half century in particular.

More than 2,000 people had visited the show every day since its opening, said a spokesman for the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, one of the organizers.

After watching a documentary on Tibet's history, Cai Xiaoyun, a retired teacher from Wuhan University in central China's Hubei Province, wrote on a visitors book: "I feel in the exhibition the barbarianism and darkness that permeated in old Tibet, and have a better understanding how the backward system of mixing politics and religion thwarted Tibet's development and progress."

One display showed that from 1965 -- when the Tibet Autonomous Region was founded -- to 2007, the central government provided nearly 162 billion yuan ($23 billion) in financial support for Tibet, accounting for 93.4 percent of the region's fiscal revenue, and how government projects helped improve people's lives.

"Such a large amount of investment is very impressive," Han Juduo, a driver for a Buddhist monk, wrote in the book.

Arnulf Kolstad, a professor from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said the exhibition demonstrated that great changes did take place in Tibet, and such changes benefited the Tibetans.

He said there had been all kinds of rumors about Tibet in the West, and the exhibition made clear they were just rumors.

Fan Yuelong, a student from the Beijing-based Capital Normal University, said he had no idea Tibet had developed so fast, and the pictures showing the past and the present were impressive.

"This exhibition should be put on in foreign countries, instead of just in China, so that people around the world will have a better understanding of Tibet," said Zhao Xin, a tourist from northwest China's Xinjiang.

The free exhibition is jointly sponsored by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council Information Office and the Tibet Autonomous Region. It will run till July 25.

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