Or maybe it won’t. Either way, it will likely make its owner even richer. In 2001 at a Shanghai store, Liu Gang, founding partner of one of Beijing’s largest commercial law firms, bought an ink map on bamboo paper that could be from the 18th century and could be a copy of a world map from 1418 that could offer proof that Chinese admiral Zheng He did in fact beat Christopher Columbus to the “New World” by more than 70 years, as at least one disputed author — Gavin Menzies, who wrote 1421: The Year China Discovered the World — has been claiming for a while now. Liu bought the map for US$500 and will unveil it — well, a copy of it — tonight in Beijing. We found this bit interesting:
The National Museum, on Tiananmen Square, which is holding an exhibition on Zheng He’s undisputed achievements, does not include any reference to Menzies’ theory and was unaware of Mr Liu’s map.
A museum spokesman said most Chinese scholars dismissed Menzies’ views.