Chinese Reverse Decision, Say Penn Can Has Mummies

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/5436494537_0b8a79995f_m.jpgINQUIRER: The show will go on – Chinese mummies and all. Following talks between Chinese cultural authorities in Beijing and officials of the U.S. Embassy there, over 100 artifacts from western China, including two unique mummies, will go on display for a limited time at the Penn Museum, university officials announced Friday. The artifacts, part of a much-ballyhood exhibition, “Secrets of the Silk Road,” were unexpectedly barred from exhibition by the Chinese just days before the show opened last Saturday, leaving Penn Museum officials scrambling to mount an important exhibit – the museum’s first “blockbuster” – without any of the key artifacts. But the mummies and the full complement of artifacts will now go on display from Feb. 18 through March 15 and the museum will extend its hours of operation to accommodate visitors. The mummies will then be removed from exhibition and the rest of the show, with all other artifacts, will remain on display from March 17 until March 28. A modified exhibition, which has been running since February 5, will close Sunday to install the mummies and artifacts, some of which are more than 3,800 years old. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Details are scant, but news came through earlier today that Chinese authorities have withdrawn their support for the Silk Road exhibit that was due to open this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology after months of pre-opening promotion, including right here on Phawker. Apparently the Chinese have taken their mummies and related artifacts and gone home. The press preview scheduled for Friday has also been canceled, and thousands of pre-sold tickets will be refunded. MORE

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