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Ancient corpse open to visitors again

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-01 17:29

CHANGSHA -- An 2,200-year-old corpse that shows no signs of decay is once again open for public viewing, five years after the start of a renovation at the Central China museum where it is preserved.

The body of Lady Xinzhui has been preserved in the provincial museum of Hunan province, which reopened Wednesday after renovation.

According to historical records, Lady Xinzhui was the wife of Marquis Li Cang during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 25 AD). Regarded as the "Sleeping Beauty of the East," the more than 2,200-year-old corpse was discovered in 1972, its intact, moist skin grabbing international attention. It had hair, clear fingerprints and nail lines.

It has been preserved in a storehouse during the museum renovation.

"We monitored data throughout the day to ensure that it stayed in good condition," said museum curator Duan Xiaoming.

The corpse has now moved to a new high-tech chamber with constant temperature and humidity, at a depth close to that of the original tomb.

It can resist magnitude 8 earthquakes and above, and is under 24-hour monitoring, according to Liu Liang, director of the preservation center of cultural relics of the museum.

"It is amazing," said Li Yi, a college student in Changsha, "I am surprised to see that a corpse of over 2,000 years could be preserved so well. I could still see her face clearly."

More than 1,000 cultural relics are currently on display in the museum in Changsha, capital of Hunan.

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