When any Empire wants to display its artistic achievements to the world, it’s customary for it to build the Pyramid of Cheops, the Lourve, the British Museum, or something similar. The Chinese Empire is no different, and in 1933 Nanjing, former capital of the Empire and a city with a reputation for warmth and hospitality second only to that of Pyongyang, was chosen for the site. When the awe-inspiring Nanjing Museum opened its doors to a suitably impressed public, the reaction of the world was that of wonder. The Imperial Authorities themselves claim that the Museum “now numbers among its extensive collections some 2,000 first class treasures of national and cultural interest. Should you be fascinated by the long and cultured history of China, then this Museum is a ‘must-see’ for you. Let it be an absolutely indispensable part of your itinerary… Even the most uninitiated of visitors will be left speechless in the presence of such artistic beauty and richness.” Bold claims indeed. Let’s see how it measures up…
As one enters the grounds, the first sight one sees is a collection of sculptures of all the Emperors, including that of the current Emperor, Hu Jintao (insert):
Beyond are two buildings, the first of which is currently host to an artistic celebration of thirty years of Opening Up Under Communist Overlordship. This incredible collection of Art represents the work of every great artist since the Communist Dynasty seized power in 1949. No expense has been spared to exhibit it in all it’s stunning splendour:
The second building is home to what is described as “someone’s work”, which may seem somewhat vague until one considers the fact that if anyone in China had done any work, it would automatically qualify for inclusion in a museum, for the enlightenment and wonder of future generations. Unfortunately, security was very tight and I was not permitted entry to the magnificent structure. I did at first wonder at this, but the tight security all became clear to me as I wandered around outside, and chanced across a detachment of the People’s Liberation Army 2nd Artillery Battalion encamped in the woods nearby:
Overall, I was tremendously impressed at the fact that no stone had been left unturned and no corner left uncut in the Empire’s display of it’s artistic talent and power. They even thought to include a children’s play area, designed by China’s greatest sculptors:
Verdict: Entry to the Nanjing Museum does not require a ticket. Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that entry is free. It is not free at all. It will cost you your soul at the very least. This honestly does represent the very best collection of Art that the Chinese Empire can assemble, and for that reason, it is a clear winner of a Falling Cow Award.
Nanjing Museum: A Tribute To Ineptitude