Tibet Museum, in the west of town just opposite Norbulingka, is worth a visit if you are interested in Tibetan culture and history as well as art.
Tibet Museum covers an area of 23,508 square meters including an exhibition area of 10,451 square meters. Tibet Museum is equipped with modern facilities to ensure quality service for visitors and safety and efficient administration of the museum itself. Here exhibits are introduced in Japanese, English, Tibetan, and Chinese, in order to accommodate visitors from all over the world.
The construction project of the Tibet Museum was listed as one of the sixty-two "Aid-Tibet Projects" in July 1994. It was opened in October 1999 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of Tibet's Democratic Reform. The former Chinese chairman Jiang Zemin inscribed its name.
The building of the Tibet Museum is a pioneering institution in the history of the region. Designed by a Han Chinese architect from Sichuan province, the complex is a wonderful combination of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. Upon entering the Prelude Hall, visitors' attention will immediately be caught by the colorfully ornamented beams, pillars, lintels, banners and wall hangings. Going forward, visitors will see that the museum is actually sub-cataloged: the first catalog includes two exhibition halls on the first floor, showing the splendid history of the land and its abundant natural resources; the other catalog is on the second floor and is comprised of five small exhibition halls that display folk custom, treasures, and arts and crafts of that region. Tibet Museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colorful tangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and local scriptures. Visitors can also see a variety of folk art such as unique local handicrafts, costumes, jewelry, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery.
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