The British Museum has celebrated the launch of Shanghai Week in London with the opening of Treasures from Shanghai, a spectacular collection of 60 ancient Chinese jade and bronze masterpieces on show in Europe for the first time.
"This exhibition brings to London pieces of superlative quality rarely seen outside China itself," said the exhibition's guest curator Jessica Rawson.
"The Neolithic jades on display are astonishing, particularly those that feature fine designs of strange human-like figures, birds and monsters with large teeth."
She added: "The Shanghai Museum houses one of the world's greatest collections of Chinese art."
Chen Kelun, deputy director general of the Shanghai Museum, said the exhibition would provide "insights into the time-honoured urban civilization and etiquette of China" and identify themselves with the theme of the World Expo to be held in Shanghai next year.
The month-long exhibition is another example of the British Museum's collaboration with China after the exhibition First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army in 2007.
Shanghai Week is designed to commemorate the increasingly close relationship between Britain and China, and showcase the heritage and culture of Shanghai as it prepares for the World Expo.
Other highlights include a seminar at the Victoria and Albert Museum entitled "From London to Shanghai: Inheritance and innovation - wisdom in urban development" and a photographic exhibition at City Hall – Shanghai and Shanghai Exposition.
Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng and Boris Johnson, his London counterpart, sent congratulatory messages to Shanghai Week organizers.
Meanwhile, Sarah Brightman, who sang at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, has been named Shanghai 2010 World Expo Promotion Ambassador in Britain.
The Treasures from Shanghai exhibition of jades and bronzes runs until the 27th March. It’s in Room Two at the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London. Galleries open from 10.00 to 17.30 (20.30 Thursdays and Fridays) and the admission is free.