Suzhou Museum

Updated: Nov 30, 2018 www.chinaservicesinfo.com Print
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Suzhou Museum

Address:204 Dongbei Street, Suzhou, Jiangsu province
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (entry until 16:00)
Closed Mondays (except those that fall on national holidays)
E-mail: kaifangbu@szmuseum.com
General admission: Free

Image from VCG [Phto/VCG]

March 30, 1956, was an unusual day for Wang Ju, a construction worker.

The buckets of concrete he intended to use to fill crevices in the walls of the Tiger Hill Pagodaor, more officially, the Yunyan Pagoda, brought little effect. It seemed that the cracks were bottomless. Scrupulously removing the bricks surrounding the crevices, Wang found a cross-shaped secret path, which led him to a pavilion where many ancient treasures were hidden. A beautiful celadon bowl in the shape of a lotus flower immediately stood out among these ancient artifacts.

It was cleverly designed, exquisitely shaped like a blooming lotus flower and its clay body white with a tinge of gray and a fine texture. The bowl was cast with a thick, even green glaze. It was shining like jade and was as smooth as silk. It was a rare piece of olive-green celadon, a type first fired during the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279) for imperial use only.

The bowl is now under close attention at the Suzhou Museum, a highly regarded regional museum founded on Jan 1, 1960. The museum is a hub for the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of cultural relics.

The museum was originally located in Li Xiucheng’s palace, the only surviving historic site of the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace (1851-64).Li was a military commander who, by the end of his life, was known as the “Loyal King”.

A new museum building designed by world famous architect Ieoh Ming Pei was completed in October 2006, covering over 10,700 square meters. The design of the new museum visually complements the traditional architecture of Li’s palace.

The museum houses 18,234 cultural relics, most notably excavated artifacts, paintings and calligraphy works from the Song to Qing dynasties, and ancient arts and crafts. It also holds more than 90,000 books and documents, and over 20,000 stone tablet rubbings.

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