Qin-Han dynasties and the Roman Empire, between East and West
The two Empires: the Eagle and the Dragon
For the first time, this extraordinary exhibition will allow visitors to compare two of the most important empires in the history of the world: the Roman Empire and the Chinese Qin and Han dynasties from the second century B.C. to the second century A.D.
Four prestigious venues, Beijing, Luoyang, Milan and Rome, for a first-ever project, which is the result of a number of years of cooperation between the highest Italian and Chinese institutions, the Ministero per I Beni e le Attività Culturali of the Republic of Italy and the corresponding State Administration for Cultural Heritage of the People’s Republic of China. This initiative intends to confirm the shared objectives, strategies, and methods that characterize the missions of the government institutions of the two countries with regard to the conservation, promotion, and enhancement of their cultural heritages. The project provides for the first stage to take place in Beijing (30th of July- 7th of October), at the city’s World Art Museum, from the end of July to the middle of October 2009, as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. After that, the exhibition will move to Luoyang, during the period from November 2009 to February 2010, and arrive at the end of March/April 2010 in Milan, where it will remain until the end of July/August 2010 and finally it will be hosted in Rome from September 2010 to January 2011.
The aim of the exhibition is to compare for the first time at such a high level – through the unique juxtaposition of extraordinary masterpieces from the two empires – their respective social and intellectual structures, as well as their political and economic environments, and in particular their contribution to humanity and the legacies of both of them to the civilizations of the East and the West.
Having had a role of absolute and undisputed importance in antiquity, both the Qin and Han dynasties and the Roman Empire laid the foundations of political and social structures that are still efficacious today, with rules capable of strongly influencing the history of the following centuries. The aim is thus to enable visitors to make a comparison which – even though it never took place concretely and directly in history – is extremely fascinating and interesting in its apparent impossibility, and to show, in fact, how, in completely distinct historical and geographical conditions, two great cultures created achievements that were sometimes totally different and sometimes similar, or different in their external forms, but similar in their functional structures. In spite of the geographical distance, in effect, the two civilizations developed in parallel, and their greatness influenced the course of world history as no other people have ever succeeded in doing.
The exhibition is at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome from the 19th November until 9th January, except for Mondays, Christmas Day and New Years Day.