500,000 Visitors See Penn Museum Mesopotamian Collection on Loan in China

29 NOVEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—In September 2006, Penn Museum sent out a major, two-year loan of Mesopotamian artifacts--complete with a catalog written by Dr. Richard Zettler, Associate Curator of the Mesopotamian section--to the Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, China, to be a part of their long-awaited, long-term exhibition, “The Great Civilizations.” Artifacts from Penn Museum's exceptional Mesopotamian section collection constitutes the entire Mesopotamian section of "The Great Civilizations" exhibition.

In the first year alone, more than 500,000 visitors have seen the exhibition, noted Wang Limei, Director of the Beijing World Art Museum. In a letter to Penn Museum, Wang Limei shared some of the comments collected from the visitors:

“For the first time I understand how great the human civilizations in the world were and what a potential ability existed in the human being.”

“Ancient Chinese civilization is only part of the civilizations of the world. We must get to know and study more of the ancient and modern world, so that it will prevent us from being conceited and self-satisfied.”

"Only by learning the brilliant world cultural heritages, can the nation of China (be) stand in the world. It is the duty of our modern youth to study hard and make progress in the development of our nation.”

“The works of art of the world civilizations are the great heritage of the whole mankind. They need to be taken care of and protected by the people across the world generation(s) after generation(s.)”

A child from Inner Mongolia said “I have leant a lot about the history of ancient civilizations which I can not get from my text books. I will come back again if I have the opportunity. I will introduce this wonderful show to my friends and share the surprises the Beijing World Art Museum brings us.”

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.


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