'Marine Silk Road' museum will house ancient wreck
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-14 09:01
Guangdong has decided to invest in studying and developing its rich ancient cultural, oceanic and historical resources to showcase its glorious past and promote the tourism industry, according to Jing Lihu, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Culture.
Picture of future China Marine Silk Road Museum. [photo: cnsgd.com]
The construction of a large museum designed to display more than 300,000 historical relics began in this coastal city on December 6.
The China Marine Silk Road Museum, which is scheduled to be completed and opened to the public before the end of 2007, will mainly collect and exhibit ancient vessels and their contents, to be salvaged from the South China Sea.
Guangdong has been a commercial and trading hub in South China since ancient times.
The museum is the largest cultural project to be built in the province, with an investment of more than 190 million yuan (US$23 million), Jing said.
Set on the beach of Yangjiang's Hailing Island, some 200 kilometres from Guangzhou, the museum covers an area of more than 130,000 square metres and will be the largest theme museum of its kind in Asia.
The most exciting part of the museum will be a huge crystal case, especially for the Nanhai No 1 vessel, which is scheduled to be brought up from the sea bed by 2007.
The vessel sank about 1,000 years ago, 20 metres below the surface of the waters, 20 nautical miles away from Hailing Island.
A study centre of the China Marine Silk Road will be also set up in the museum, looking at social and economic development in the southern Chinese region in ancient dynasties.
The museum also includes a water stage for performances related to topics of the ancient China Marine Silk Road.
Yangjiang is expected to become a new tourist attraction in the southern Chinese region, according to Zheng Youjian, vice-mayor of Yangjiang. The city is now known for its kitchen knives and scissors.
A diving club, a sailing club, a pedestrian shopping street and other facilities will also be built near the museum to help attract and entertain tourists from around the world.