A museum in Philadelphia has been forced to remove the remains of several mummies originating in Xinjiang from an exhibit, at the behest of Chinese officials. AP reports:
The artifacts were part of “Secrets of the Silk Road,” which is scheduled to open Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. The exhibit has already traveled to museums in California and Texas without issue. Visitors to the Philadelphia museum will see a pared-down exhibit.
Penn museum spokeswoman Pam Kosty said she could not offer any more information beyond a statement saying Chinese officials had requested the items not be shown. She declined to identify the officials.
Attempts to reach the Chinese consulate for comment were unsuccessful because of the Chinese New Year holiday.
The exhibit’s main attraction is a nearly 4,000-year-old, pristinely preserved mummy from far western China, whose flaxen hair and eyelashes are still intact. A well-preserved mummy of a baby, along with vibrantly colored burial trappings of a third mummy, was among more than 100 ancient objects featured.
Read more about the so-called Tarim mummies via CDT. See also “Charlie Sheen, the Lady of Loulan, and Alternative Pasts in the PRC today” from Jottings from the Granite Studio.