Shanghaiist headed out with high hopes Saturday morning, aiming as we were for a dose of high culture at the Louis XVI exhibit at the Shanghai Museum. The exhibit, which opened on September 1, comes on the tail end of the China-France cultural year, which concluded in July.
There we found the usual things — marble busts, paintings with Louis XVI and the Holy Trinity, globes and gold plated masks. These precious objects were glimpsed between the backs of many heads. As soon as we got closer, we got bumped into. Don’t get the wrong idea — it wasn’t as bad as the subway during rush hour, but it wasn’t exactly a quiet place where you could sit and stare, contemplating great art. People jostled into a small video room where there was supposed to be a half hour video about Louis XVI showing, but instead there were lots of people either sitting, milling about, or else whining about the video not starting, and how they paid good money for the tickets and deserved to watch this video. We can’t tell you what was on that video, but guessing from the overall tone of this exhibit, it wasn’t a critique of Louis XIV’s absolutist tendencies.
From this point on, Shanghaiist went fast forward and zipped through the rest of the exhibit as quickly as possible. It’s not a bad exhibit, and of course you can visit the other parts of the museum as well, but if you’re as claustrophobic as Shanghaiist, do yourself a favor and go early in the morning on a weekday.
Shanghai Museum (上海博物馆) in People’s Square is open from 9 am-5 pm (no entry after 4 PM) every day. Tickets cost 20 RMB, 5 RMB for students.
Picture from of Xinhua.