Cixi's expensive taste

By Zhao Xu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-01-18 17:29:25

Power and beauty these are the two things associated with Cixi. She was the empress dowager whose behind-the-curtain rule over the entire China stretched for nearly half a century between 1861 and 1908. Now, historians are adding another element - taste - to this much written-about and hated woman, commonly blamed for accelerating the Middle Kingdom's slide into the dark swamp of semi-colonialism. The China of Cixi, a sumptuously mounted exhibition, recently opened at Beijing's Capital Museum. It offers footnotes to not only a luxurious and decadent lifestyle, but also an iron lady's strong propensity toward the exquisite and the fanciful.

9 am-5 pm, daily except Monday until June 16. Capital Museum, 16 Fuxingmenwai Street, Xicheng district, Beijing. 010-6339-3339.

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