Hong Kong Museum of History to showcase luxurious and extravagant lifestyle of ancient civilisations in Middle East (with photos)

     A major exhibition of the Hong Kong Museum of History entitled "An Age of Luxury: the Assyrians to Alexander" will be open to the public from tomorrow (May 9). The exhibition will showcase treasures from the British Museum, including metalwork, stone wall reliefs, ivory items, gems and jewellery, depicting the luxurious lifestyle of ancient civilisations in the Middle East.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony today (May 8), the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said he was delighted that the British Museum has launched the world tour of this blockbuster exhibition in Hong Kong, adding that members of the public can learn about the luxurious lifestyle in ancient times through the objects that were meticulously selected from the collections of the British Museum. 

     He also extended his gratitude to the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong and the British Museum for their continuous support, and said that the Government will continue to spare no efforts and resources to create an environment conducive to diverse cultural development in the course of enhancing Hong Kong's status as an international arts and cultural metropolis.

     From 900 BC to 300 BC, mighty empires like Assyria, Babylon and Achaemenid Persia created elites that accumulated enormous wealth. They built lavish palaces and pleasure gardens filled with immense quantities of treasure. These luxurious and opulent objects not only brought them luxuries and pleasures, but also displayed their social status and power.

     The exhibition features around 210 exhibits, with highlights including a wall relief that depicts the conquest and looting of an Elamite city by Assyrian soldiers, a fish-shaped perfumed oil flask made from a hammered sheet of gold, kohl bottles and pots, the Hellenistic jewellery item "Herakles knot", and decorative plaques carved in elephant ivory. Ancient counterfeited luxurious items will also be displayed.

     Other officiating guests included the British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, Mr Andrew Heyn; the Director of the British Museum, Dr Hartwig Fischer; the Head of Charities (Grant Making - Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture) of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Ms Rhoda Chan; the Chairperson of the History Sub-committee of the Museum Advisory Committee, Ms Anita Fung; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Michelle Li; and the Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Belinda Wong.

     The exhibition, which will run until September 3, is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Trustees of the British Museum and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the British Museum. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust is sponsoring the exhibition's education and extension programmes.

     For details of the exhibition, please visit hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/exhibition/current.html, or call 2724 9042 for enquiries.

     The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Ends/Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:15