China-Pakistan Gandhara Art Exhibition closing ceremony held in Shenzhen, China

Beijing: The closing ceremony of the exhibition titled “Gandhara Heritage along the Silk Road: A Joint China-Pakistan Exhibition” took place at the Shenzhen Museum on Sunday.

The ceremony was attended by senior Chinese officials including Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum; Zeng Xianglai, Director of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism, and Sports Bureau of Shenzhen; Jia Jianwei, Director of Gansu Provincial Museum; and Huang Chen, Director of Shenzhen Museum.

Pakistan side was represented by Pakistan Ambassador to China Khalil Hashmi, along with the Acting Consul General of Pakistan in Guangzhou and officials from the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing and the Pakistan Consulate-General in Guangzhou. The ceremony marked the successful culmination of the largest Gandhara exhibition in China’s history, showcasing over 170 artifacts from seven different museums in Pakistan.

The exhibition debuted last year at the prestigious Palace Museum in Beijing for three months but due to overwhelming interest from the Chinese audience, it evolved into a touring exhibition, making stops in Gansu and finally Shenzhen, following necessary legal procedures. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Hashmi reflected on the significance of the initiative, highlighting the successful collaboration between Pakistan and China in organizing the largest Gandhara Art Exhibition in China’s history.

He emphasized the importance of cultural exchanges and people-to-people initiatives, expressing gratitude to Director Wang Xudong and his team for their efforts in executing the Joint Exhibition. Ambassador Hashmi also hinted at future joint initiatives, indicating ongoing plans for further exhibitions showcasing shared heritage between the two countries. Additionally, he illuminated Pakistan’s rich historical legacy as the seat of Gandhara civilization and its contributions to cultural exchanges along the ancient Silk Road.

Director Wang Xudong, expressing his delight at being part of this momentous exhibition, paid homage to Pakistan’s rich heritage. He shared insights into the experience of contributing to and witnessing the exhibition’s impact. As the final phase of the exhibition concludes, preparations are underway for the dispatch of artifacts back to Pakistan, with a de-installation team scheduled to arrive after Ramazan.