Saturday, December 16, 2017

Amaravati Buddhist art to finally be seen in full glory at British Museum

By Mark Brown
A two-sided limestone relief from the Great Shrine at Amaravati. Photograph: British Museum
LONDON---For decades, the Amaravati sculptures, a stupendous collection of early Buddhist art considered one of the greatest treasures in the British Museum, have been poorly lit and difficult for visitors to see close up. On Thursday, they will be displayed in their full glory when the central London museum reopens its largest gallery to the public after a two-year renovation. The newly improved Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia will allow a different story to be told, curators say, with some objects going on show for the first time. The refurbishment and redisplay means the Amaravati sculptures, which are held in a separate room at one end of the gallery, can be seen from the other. “They are just as important as the [Parthenon] marbles but people don’t know about them so much,” Portal said. [More]
Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance. Photograph: British Museum