Exhibition of underwater cultural relics underway in northwest China

Cultural relics retrieved from an over 800-year-old shipwreck are on display at Dunhuang Academy in northwest China's Gansu Province.

The exhibition showcases more than 240 sets of relics from the underwater archaeological excavation of Huaguangjiao No.1 Shipwreck. The sunken merchant ship, 20 meters in length and 6 meters in width, was built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It was discovered in 1996 in the waters off Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

Many fragments of porcelain and pottery have been collected and recovered, providing more information about the Marine Silk Road between China and the rest of the world during the Song and Yuan dynasties (1280-1368).

A strategic city along the ancient Silk Road, Dunhuang, which is famed for its Mogao Grottoes, is welcoming the underwater relics for the first time. The show, organized by Hainan Museum and Dunhuang Academy, is intended to introduce the public to the rich cultural connection of the Maritime Silk Road to the ancient Silk Road.

"Dunhuang and Haikou are important nodes of the ancient Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, and both are important channels carrying cultural and historical heritage," said Zhao Shengliang, president of Dunhuang Academy. 

Zhao noted that the exhibition allows the public to narrow the distance between the two ancient routes and learn more about the Belt and Road spirit.

The exhibition will last until October 15. VR live streaming is available for audiences online.