China in the 1960s, under its leader Mao Zedong, sought to culturally obliterate old forms of thinking which resulted in many valuable antiques being destroyed, and anyone who collected artefacts at the time was considered to be an enemy of the state.
According to an article by Michael Bristow for BBC News, Zhang Lifan saw much of his father’s collection of porcelain and antique furniture either taken away or destroyed by the Red Guards who commandeered their courtyard house. The Guards broke up and used priceless Qing and Ming dynasty antique furniture for firewood.
Things are different now. The Cultural Revolution came to an end in 1976 and China now looks to its past. Some of the old fortifications are being restored in many cities across China in a bid to attract tourists. Temples are being rebuilt and ancient shop fronts renovated and streets generally spruced up with a view to celebrating and promoting city design in an attempt to remove the scars of industrialisation.
China over the past 20 years has attracted the World’s attention through the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors and many cultural tourists have visited China with the sole purpose of seeing it in its new livery. Places like Tiananmen Square have also become the focus of western attention where Mao’s mummified body is periodically put on show and where student dissention heralded a new era of openness in China.
Chinese cultural influences have always played a dominant role in English furniture design. When looking for period and revival Chinese Chippendale antique dining chairs in Preston , Lancashire, local antiques dealers will be pleased to advise buyers.
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