Grand Canal exhibition details integral history of 1,000-mile-long waterway
Web Editor:International Daily
A major exhibition marking the history of the 1,700-kilometer-long Grand Canal which spans from Beijing all the way down to east China's Zhejiang Province opened in the Chinese capital on Sunday.Entitled "Paddling for a Thousand Miles: A Cultural Exhibition of the Grand Canal", the four-month-long event at the National Museum of China (NMC) features some 170 items which will showcase the ancient canal's history, function, construction technology and cultural legacy.This exhibition is divided into five parts: "Connecting north and south for a millennium," "Benefiting the nation through cargo transport," "A thousand vessels drawn forth by teams of boatmen," "An engineering feat that shocked the world" and "Cultural prosperity born from the canal."A total of 170 objects are exhibited across the exhibition, supplemented by multiple digital images and interactive projects, systematically displaying the excavation history, navigation functions, water transportation management, engineering technology and intangible cultural heritage of the Grand Canal."The exhibition hall is designed in the shape of a river, and we have installed multi-media equipment and interactive activities, which aims to showcase the Grand Canal's history and culture in an interesting way and make relics more vivid," said curator for this exhibition of NMC.The Grand Canal, built on the basis of the Hangou Canal and completed during the Sui Dynasty (581-618), consists of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the Sui and Tang Grand Canal and the Zhedong Canal.With a history of more than 2,500 years since its excavation, it is the world’s earliest excavated, longest flowing and largest ancient canal. It demonstrated the creativity of the ancient Chinese sages, witnessed the important social changes in ancient China, composed a magnificent chapter in the development of Chinese civilization, and is an important symbol of Chinese excellent traditional culture.The Grand Canal has played an important role in promoting the economic and cultural exchanges and integration between the north and the south, promoting the rise and prosperity of cities along the route, and maintaining national unity and political stability. Even to this day, although the Grand Canal no longer plays a role in connecting the north and the south, its important historical and cultural value remains intact.