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Chinese national treasures arrive in Hong Kong

The world-acclaimed Chinese painting "Along the River During the Qingming Festival", and a batch of painting and calligraphy masterpieces, arrived today (June 22) at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from Beijing.

These national treasures will be put on display in two phases, from June 29 to July 22 and from July 23 to August 11, in an exhibition entitled "The Pride of China: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties from the Palace Museum" at the Museum of Art to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of HKSAR.

Over the past three months, staff from the Museum of Art and the Palace Museum worked out a detailed plan to ensure the utmost security for the delivery and display of the exhibits, which date back more than 1,000 years and are graded as first-class cultural relics. The success of the delivery today is also attributed to the assistance and special arrangements rendered by airports of Beijing and Hong Kong, and the tight security escort provided by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and Hong Kong Police.

The Museum of Art has geared up for the exhibition with its curatorial staff and experts from the Palace Museum working to have the exhibits ready for public enjoyment on June 29.

The exhibition is expected to draw big crowds. To facilitate more people to see the extraordinary exhibition without hassle, the Museum of Art will introduce a number of measures, including regulating the admission to the special gallery displaying the "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" by hourly sessions, and extending the opening hours of the exhibition to 9pm. During the normal closure of the museum on Thursdays, visits will be arranged for pre-booking school groups and non-profit making organisations.

The Museum of Art has also arranged, for the first time, advance sale of tickets, which are now available at URTBIX outlets. Booking services on Internet are also available.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will offer free admission to its seven fee-charging museums on July 1 and 2. Free admission also applies to the three anniversary celebration exhibitions. Free admission tickets will be available for collection on a first-come, first-served basis at URBTIX outlets as well as the box offices of the Museum of Art, Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum starting from 10am on Sunday (June 24). Each person can obtain up to a maximum of four tickets. For those who cannot produce valid tickets or museums pass on the open days, admission will only be possible where space of galleries permits.

The "The Pride of China" exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Palace Museum and is jointly organised by the Museum of Art and the Palace Museum. It is co-sponsored by HSBC and the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, with Dragonair the official carrier.

Highlight exhibits include Zhang Zeduan's "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" of the Northern Song dynasty, Feng Chengsu's "Copy after Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Gathering" of the Tang dynasty, Wang Shen's "Light Snow over a Fishing Village" of Northern Song dynasty, Zhao Ji (Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty)'s "Auspicious Dragon Rock" of the Northern Song dynasty, Wang Xun's "Letter to Boyuan" of the Jin dynasty, Yan Liben's "Emperor Taizong Receiving the Tibetan Envoy" of the Tang dynasty, Dong Yuan's "The Xiao and Xiang Rivers" of the Five Dynasties, Su Shi's "Letter on the Consignation of Author's Graveyard" of the Northern Song dynasty, Liu Songnian's "Landscapes of the Four Seasons" of the Southern Song dynasty, and Li Song's "Puppet Play of a Skeleton" of the Southern Song dynasty.

The exhibition will open from 9am to 9pm daily and be closed on Thursdays. Due to the 10th anniversary Celebration Fireworks Display, it will close at 6pm on July 1. Admission to this exhibition will be $30. A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities. "Free Admission on Wednesdays" and the department Weekly Pass are not applicable to this exhibition.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For details of the exhibition, visit the Museum of Art's website at . For enquiries, call 2721 0116.

Ends/Friday, June 22, 2007

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