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Hubei showcases ancient treasures

SOME replicas of luxurious items once used by ancient noble families are on display during the Hubei Province Culture Week at the World Expo.

The week began yesterday and visitors are invited to check out replica lacquer ware from the Kingdom of Chu during the Warring States period, which dates from 476-221 BC.

Visitors can touch a replica bronze sword of King Goujian of Yue, a kingdom in the Warring States period.

They can also look into a mirror that may have been used by the wife of Xiang Yu, a prominent military leader from the late Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

Hubei craftsmen used ancient skills to replicate the cultural relics unearthed in the province, where the Kingdom of Chu existed.

Ao Chaozong, 66, was taught the ancient skills by his great-grandfather. He made a replica of the Sword of King Goujian of Yue, a 55-centimeter-long bronze sword that was unearthed in Hubei in 1965.

First he made a wooden model of the sword. After that he ground down a piece of bronze in the same shape. He used needles to carve patterns onto the body of the sword. The eight gold characters saying "the Sword of King Goujian of Yue" were finally inscribed on the sword.

It took four months to make the sword. Visitors can touch it, but must wear a glove to avoid being cut by the sharp blade.

The original sword had not rusted after being buried for 2,000 years and was so sharp that it could cut through 14 pieces of paper at one time.

The brothers Zou Chuanzhi and Zou Chuanjun replicated lacquer relics that were once used by ancient Chinese nobles.

They learned the skills from their father, who was an archaeologist.

The exhibits include a mandarin duck cup. It has two cups connected to the wings of a mandarin duck. The cups were used by noble couples on their wedding day.

Hubei Province Culture week ends on Thursday.


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