On September 14, the project Treasure Hunt Relay: Global Museum Director’s Choice, themed “Hand in Hand: Museum and Me” and initiated by the National Museum of China successfully concluded. After its launch on September 6, the event lasted for 9 days during which 16 museums presented the world with the cultural charm of museums via live broadcast, allowing audiences worldwide to experience the power of culture in their homes. Over 20 platforms participated in the broadcast. The “series” has attracted around 200 million viewers from both China and abroad and its Weibo topic has gained 190 million views.
The project was officially launched at 20:00, on September 6 at the National Museum of China (NMC). Hu Heping, Minister of Culture and Tourism of China, sent a congratulatory letter for the occasion. In the letter, he mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading globally, therefore closer international cooperation and more inspiring actions are required now than ever before. At this time, the NMC has initiated this project, with 16 global top-level national museums participating. Sixteendirectors will present their iconic cultural treasures for a global audience in a relay format to illustrate the humanistic spirit and value of the times contained therein. Thanks to the latest technologies, our global audience can view the essence of human civilizations through the Web, which agrees with the idea that we have always advocated that all people living in a beautiful world of harmony and mutual respect.
At 20:30, picking up the baton in the relay, the NMC cooperated with China Media Group and presented to the world a 60-minute broadcast that combined 5G, 8K shooting/filmmaking/big screen presentation, AR creation, bilateral/multilateral transnational conversation, worldwide multi-platform live broadcast, multilingual reporting of the exclusive interview with the director, bringing an immersive experience to the audience. During the broadcast, Wang Chunfa, director of the NMC, introduced five treasures of the NMC – Eagle-shaped Pottery Tripod, Rhinoceros-shaped Bronze Wine Vessel (zun) Inlaid with Gold and Silver Cloud Design, Painting of Fuxi and Nüwa, Bronze Figure Model for Acupuncture and Moxibustion, and Porcelain Jar with Swallows and Gold-painted Design, and answered questions from the online audience.
Starting from September 7, the project gave two presentations each day, each 60-minute long. The presentations consisted of the transnational interaction between the director of the NMC and a director of another museum and the introduction of the “director’s choice” by a foreign director. In total 15 museums, namely State Historical Museum of Russia, National Museum in Warsaw of Poland, National Museum of Slovenia, Liechtenstein National Museum, the Ditsong: National Museum of Cultural History of South Africa, National Museum of Australia, National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts of the USA, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art) of the USA, National Museum of Korea, Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore, National Museum Bangkok of Thailand, the National Museum - Sultanate of Oman, National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the British Museum, participated in the relay and displayed their “director’s choice”. The intriguing presentations brought the audiences around the world into a vault of cultural treasures and showcased the brilliance and diversity of the world’s cultures.
On the evening of the 14th, after the last broadcast, 8 directors from State Historical Museum of Russia, National Museum of Australia, National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina and 5 other participating museums shared their thoughts on the event during a multilateral online conference. Wang Chunfa, director of the NMC, made three proposals for the world’s museums on uniting to convey confidence, upholding the vision of building a community of a shared future for mankind, and providing a strong impetus for the progress of human civilization: first, museums should accelerate the transformation of communication modes; second, museums should deepen the cooperation centered around exhibitions; third, museums should work to institutionalize and normalize the alliance cooperation among them.
Participating museum directors spoke highly of the event and observed that online relay, as a new form of international exchange and cultural dissemination, offered a new line of thinking for the long-term cooperation among the world’s museums in the post-pandemic era. Ms. Barbara Ravnik,director of the National Museum of Slovenia, said that she was honored to participate in the event. The good thing of the Covid-19 pandemic is that we had some time to contemplate and find out what really matters in our lives. What really matters is friendship and cooperation on all levels of our lives and society. Dr. Mathew Trinca, director of National Museum of Australia, said that the world has never needed its museums more than it does now. In his opinion, initiatives like this sponsored by the National Museum of China demonstrate the strength of our cultural links and exchange, and should thus become a priority of our efforts.
The whole event was covered by media in multiple languages including English, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic, continuously gaining international communication influence. The event was also widely praised and received compliments in the participating museums and the host countries.