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Going east along the Chang’an Street, you will see a building complex of Ming and Qing style to the north of the Gaobeidian exit of the Jingtong Expressway. That is the China Red Sandalwood Museum. Chan Laiwa invested about 200 million RMB in founding it, who is a member of CPPCC, Chairwoman of Hong Kong Fuwah International Group, Honorary Doctor of Humanities of SCAD and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SCAD. The museum was opened to the public on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the founding of PRC. It is China’s first and the largest private museum specialized in research and collection of red sandalwood sculptures and classic furniture.

The building of the museum itself is a splendid work of art. It covers an area of about 25,000 square meters. The main entrance is of wooden structure which used over 400 cubic meters of wood, with four supporting pillars of 8 meters high and 0.6 meters in diameter. This is rarely seen in pseudo-classic architectures in Beijing both in terms of scale and materials. The five-floor main building adopts the traditional Chinese technique called Mo Zhuan Dui Feng which carefully rub the bricks and then apply the slurry of glutinous rice. The square before the building over 1,000 square meters is paved with blue bricks and then soaked with tung oil. The project was constructed under the guidance of experts from the Palace Museum, who are dubbed as “living treasure of the country”.

The exhibiting area of the China Red Sandalwood Museum is 9,569 square meters. Here you could see Ming and Qing style furniture collected by Mrs. Chan Laiwa in several decades, the Buddhist culture artworks, and models of ancient architectures such as the corner tower in the Palace Museum, the traditional Siheyuan in old Beijing and the Feiyun Pavilion.

We have been sticking to the principle of “inheriting, development, innovation” for many years. Owing to the Curator Chan Laiwa’s efforts and vision, the endangered red sandalwood sculpture has been protected and innovated. In September 2011, the “red sandalwood sculpture” was listed by the State Council as a national intangible cultural heritage. In 2012, the museum was recognized by the municipal government of Beijing as a model base for productive protection of intangible cultural heritage.

China Red Sandalwood Museum was rated by the National Tourist Administration as a 4A tourist attraction in 2003. It has received a lot of tourists and dignitaries from different countries such as former Prime Minister of Romania Adrian Nastase and his wife, Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Many of those dignitaries left a message speaking highly of the achievements the museum has made.

To further promote the red sandalwood culture, we held itinerant exhibition themed as “mystery of red sandalwood” in the United States, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Guangzhou, etc. Meanwhile, the museum actively communicated with famous museums in the world. Museums such as the Palace Museum in Beijing, China, the Dresden State Art Collections in Dresden, Germany, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA, the  Domaine National De Chambord in France and the Kyushu National Museum in Fukuoka, Japan all have collected artworks from China Red Sandalwood Museum. The Vice Minister of Culture and Curator of Palace Museum Zheng Xinmiao once praised the museum for making great contribution in promoting Chinese culture in the world.

In the future, we will continue to make unrelenting efforts in protecting cultural heritage and promoting traditional culture. Let’s together witness the glory of the Chinese classic furniture and red sandalwood sculpture!

 
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