A new exhibition at the Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong displays examples of Ming and Qing dynasty antiques. Although the items on display are worth millions of pounds, there are no “do not touch” signs. Museum visitors are encouraged to touch, feel and smell the antiques.
The managing director of the museum Lynn Fung Yee-ling says:
“We encourage our visitors to sniff the wood, sit in a chair, take a selfie.”
This private museum has guided tours around its light and airy spaces. Guides describe the pieces then encourage visitors to sit on chairs, smell the wood, look into cabinets and open cupboard doors. They can pick up smaller fragile items. This policy is not without risk, a section of an ink holder shaped like an apple was dropped and shattered. Lynn Fung Yee-ling is not too concerned though. She says:
“Some of the larger objects might run to millions of US dollars, but the financial value is not so important to us.”
She says that being able to touch objects worth more than a million dollars is the museum’s unique selling point.
Occasionally antique Chinese furniture is available for sale in the UK. If you want to purchase Chinese antique desks or other antiques from Lancashire dealers, as long as you take care, you can touch items. You are welcome to smell the wood and carefully touch the furniture. You can sit in antique chairs to test their comfort or open antique cupboards to look inside.
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