Gansu Provincial Museum
The Gansu Provincial Museum (Gansusheng bowuguan), covering a total area of 16.5 acres, is the most impressive museum in the province. This is one of the best sights in the city, and for those who are in the western section of Lanzhou, a visit is well worthwhile. The museum complex is made up of three separate buildings linked by corridors, and further divided into two sections, a natural resources section downstairs and historical exhibits upstairs.
There are altogether thirteen exhibiting halls here housing famous historical relics, minority relics and a number of rare or extinct animal specimens. Among the most interesting exhibitions or relics are listed below. The museum's exhibitions are all in English.
The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow, also named as Galloping Horse, is a treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County, Gansu Province, the piece depicts a vigorous horse with long tail waving and head perking. Its three hooves are in the air, galloping like lightening. What makes this sculpture amazing is the right back hoof of this galloping horse lands on the back of a small flying bird. The bird turns in surprise to look at the big creature on its back. At the same moment, the horse's head also turns slightly in attempt to know what has happened. The whole statue is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art. recently made a tour of the US and Canada.
The exhibition of the Silk Road, containing many treasures including Neolithic painted pottery that was excavated from the town of Dadiwan, whose ancient civilisation is believed to span back some 7,000 years. Also of interest are Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) Wooden Tablets, once used to relay messages along the road.
A one and a half meter high statue of a Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) warrior, made of a coloured and then glazed earthenware.
A gilded silver plate that portrays Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, that dates back some 2,000 years from the Eastern Roman Empire.
Finally, for those into prehistoric presentations, the 4m-tall Mammoth, whose remains were excavated from the Yellow River basin in 1973, is a fearsome sight.
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