U.S. Silk Road show to open without Chinese artifacts

Fri Feb 4, 2011 7:37pm EST
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PHILADELPHIA Feb 4 (Reuters Life!) - A exhibition about the ancient Silk Road trade route connecting Europe and Asia will open without artifacts and mummies from China that would have been the centerpiece of the show, according to museum officials.

The University of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology said Chinese officials had withdrawn about 100 artifacts and two mummies from the "Secrets of the Silk Road" exhibition, which opens on Saturday and will run until June 5.

The exhibit will include text, images, sound, maps, a recreated excavation site and photographs of the withdrawn items.

The show "has been modified ... at the request of Chinese officials," the museum said in a statement.

Pam Kosty, a spokeswoman for the museum, said the withdrawn items had been part of the show at its earlier stops in California and Texas, but would not be available in Philadelphia.

She declined to say why the Chinese officials had made the decision.

The Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.