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A Tale of Two Cities

25 June 2013

Scotland’s External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf today announced a cultural partnership between the cities of Edinburgh and Nanjing.

The partnership will see a major exhibition – A Tale of Two Cities – staged firstly in Nanjing (5 November 2013 – 5 May 2014) and then in Edinburgh (date to be confirmed).

Speaking in Beijing, Mr Yousaf said, “It is a great honour that Scotland has been chosen for this exhibition, which is one of the first full curatorial partnerships to be established between a Chinese museum and an institution from another country.

Scotland and China both share a strong appreciation for cultural heritage, and this exhibition will enable people in both countries to find out more about our respective cultures and history.

Using archival material, artworks and interactive digital content, A Tale of Two Cities is a partnership between RCAHMS, Nanjing Museum and Nomad Exhibitions. The exhibition will tell the story of how the cities of Edinburgh and Nanjing, a former capital of China, have developed over the centuries, investigating the similarities and celebrating the differences. It will also mark the launch of Nanjing Museum's newly developed exhibition galleries, the largest purpose-made building for temporary exhibitions in China.

The exhibition draws on a large amount of material which has never before been seen outside of Scotland or China, including original collection items selected from the RCAHMS and Nanjing Museum archives, paintings from the National Gallery of Scotland, and original objects from Glasgow Museums and Nanjing Museum. The exhibition will also feature cutting-edge interactive digital content, allowing visitors to explore both cities through layers of historical maps and aerial photographs using innovative touch table technology.

Rebecca Bailey, Head of Education and Outreach at RCAHMS and Co-Curator of the exhibition said, “A Tale of Two Cities has presented us with an incredible opportunity to share skills and knowledge in exhibition curation and interpretation with our counterparts in China. By bringing a wonderful range of archive materials together, we have been able to work creatively with Nanjing Museum to explore ideas of urban development and national identity in both Scotland and China.

It is a privilege to be one of the first organisations in the world to collaborate in such detail with a Chinese museum, and we hope that this joint project can become a model for cultural engagement between our two countries in the future.”