National Museum to showcase life of Genghis Khan, emperors through time

Two separate exhibits, which have been popular worldwide, will spotlight China and Mongolia during the rules of of various dynasties. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 25.06.2024 11:35:00 (updated on 25.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's National Museum (NM) has announced it will host two highly anticipated exhibitions next year. The exhibits will showcase the life of Genghis Khan and the various treasures of the Chinese emperors through time. The displays are part of a collaboration between the NM, Taiwan's National Palace Museum, and Mongolia's National Genghis Khan Museum.

DM director Michal Lukeš commented that original artifacts from the time of Emperor Genghis Khan – who lived in the 12th century – would be on display at the exhibition. The everyday items he used will offer visitors “a rare glimpse into the life” of the historical figure.

Original objects used by emperors

"Visitors to the museum can look forward to a unique set of objects from the collections of Chinese emperors, which are only exhibited abroad in exceptional cases,” said museum spokesperson Kristina Kvapilová when referring to the 100 Objects, 100 Stories exhibition, which runs from September 2025.

The 100 Objects, 100 Stories display will feature a diverse and impressive collection of bronzes, calligraphy, paintings, jade artwork, ceramics, books, historical documents, clothing, and decorative items that once belonged to Chinese emperors, Kvapilová elucidated. 

Spanning from the Neolithic era to the end of the Qing dynasty, these objects have been housed in Taiwan since 1948 when they were brought there by the army of General Chiang Kai-shek after being pushed out of mainland China by Mao Zedong's Communist Party.

Czech-Taiwanese cooperation

The signing of these contracts marks the culmination of a two-year effort by the NM to establish a partnership with the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. According to Lukeš, the museums are now sister organizations, collaborating on scientific projects, exhibitions, and professional internships. 

This year, the NM also opened an exhibition on Czech Castles and Chateaux at the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei, showcasing these architectural gems and providing insight into Czech history and culture.

A few years ago, a large Czech delegation undertook a cultural-political trip to Taiwan to establish deeper ties, which the Chinese embassy criticized for undermining the political foundations of Czech-Chinese cooperation. The Czech Republic recognizes mainland China as the only de facto China, but the government has shown interest in cooperating with Taiwan due to its democratic regime.

In addition to these upcoming exhibitions, the NM has already had a successful year celebrating the Year of Czech Music and the 200th anniversary of famed composer Bedřich Smetana's birth, with two exhibitions dedicated to the figure. 

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