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Exhibition of British Library literary treasures opens in Beijing

By Bo Leung in London | | Updated: 2017-04-22 00:09
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Some of the British Library's greatest and most iconic books are on display at a major exhibition in Beijing, for the first time.

The Shakespeare to Sherlock: Treasures of the British Library exhibition opened to the public in the National Library of China. It features a range of classics, treasured handwritten manuscripts and early editions from some of Britain's greatest writers.

Items on display include Charles Dickens' manuscript for Nicholas Nickleby, Charlotte Bronte's manuscript for Jane Eyre, and an early quarto edition of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which was once owned by King George III.

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK described the exhibition as "a showcase of the history and achievements of China-UK people-to-people exchanges" during a British Library in China reception.

Liu said, "This is also the longest-lasting exhibition in China by the British Library that will visit more cities than before. It will stay in China for three years and tour Beijing, Shanghai, Wuzhen and Hong Kong,"

He added that it was "a splendid cultural feast that transcends time and space and connects different countries and peoples".

Liu praised the cooperation between the libraries of the two countries saying it is an important part of China-UK cultural relations.

"It is also a vivid example of the exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and western civilizations," He said.

The British Library manuscripts will also be displayed alongside National Library of China items including translations, adaptations and critical responses that showcase the long and productive dialogue between English and Chinese literature and culture.

Han Yong Jin, director of the National Library of China said, "We look forward to revealing the charm of British literature to Chinese readers by displaying manuscripts and early editions of works by these authors. I sincerely hope that this exhibition will help strengthen the bonds of friendship between the people of our two countries."

Baroness Tessa Blackstone, chairman of the British Library, added that the exhibition gives people in China a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see for themselves the precious originals of the classics of British and world culture. The exhibition in Beijing runs from April 21 to June 21,

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