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15 July 2015

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German Shipwreck Explorer Donates Cultural Relics to Hunan Museum

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Photo/Huang Qiqing


On May 17, a donation ceremony of Bakau shipwreck cultural relics was held at the Hunan Museum. The donation was made by Tilman Walterfang, a German shipwreck explorer. It was the first foreign donation to the reopened Hunan Museum and the largest-ever foreign donation since the museum was built.

The donated 38 pieces of porcelain with rich shapes and high quality will be permanently collected by the museum.

During the ceremony, Mr. Tilman Walterfang donated a representative cultural relic—Ming brown glazed tripod censer produced at Jingdezhen Kiln, to the museum. CPC Hunan Museum Committee Secretary Li Jianmao, on behalf of the museum, accepted the donation and issued a collection certificate to Mr. Tilman Walterfang. Hunan Museum Deputy Curator Chen Xuliang chaired the ceremony.

The collection, discovered in the Bakau shipwreck, included 15 pieces of Chinese porcelain from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and 23 pottery and porcelain items from the Southeast Asian countries. The shipwreck lies near the island of Bakau Bakau, the west of Karimata Strait, Indonesia.

Most of the discovered items are well-made and full of originality. They are not only a significant record of China's maritime trading with others during the early period of the Ming Dynasty, but also display the past cultural exchange between China and the Southeast Asian countries during the 15th century. It is thus of great academic value in the “Belt and Road” related researches.

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Translator: Xiao Juan

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