Shaanxi History Museum

Xi’an, Popular Republic of China


In 2008, Goppion S.p.A. was chosen as part of an international competition through Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to help in the enhancement project of the Shaanxi History Museum of Xi’an. Specifically, Goppion was called upon to come up with the layout design for the Tang Dynasty Mural Painting Hall with the Exhibition design having been previously coordinated for this project by the Italian Cooperation for Development.

The challenge

The Shaanxi History Museum is one of the most important museums in the People’s Republic of China and turned to Goppion to study and realize display cases to hold very delicate mural paintings from the Tang era (618 – 907 A.D.) found in imperial tombs in the northwestern part of the country. These paintings depict life among the upper classes and capture a period of great cultural and artistic fervor, characterized by the reign of the Tang dynasty. Porcelain also came about in this period.

The solution

The Laboratorio Museotecnico, which is Goppion’s research-and-development department, created large (up to 12 meters in length and 5 meters high), airtight display cases for the Shaanxi History Museum. These cases feature special hinges able to handle the opening of the crystal doors, which weigh more than 400 kilograms. These are display cases that feature sophisticated stabilization systems and control of the internal microclimate according to the most rigid standards for preventative conservation of ancient works.

This isn’t the first time Goppion has helped protect a piece of China’s historic and artistic legacy. The treasures from Paris’s Musée Cernuschi, which is one of the largest museums dedicated to Asian art in France and all of Europe, are kept in Goppion display cases as are the precious sculptures of the Jade Gallery in the British Museum in London. The collections from the Chinese section at MAO in Turin are protected by Goppion as well.