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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

Latest News and Updates


Fancy a free trip to the Oriental Museum?

(12 May 2021)

Artwork from the exhibition

My Home on the Songhua River by Chen Yuping (1982)

One of our most popular visitor attractions will re-open to the public with a new exhibition, Lu Xun's Legacy: Print Making in Modern China.

The Oriental Museum will re-open on Wednesday 19 May. To celebrate the occasion, visitors will be granted free entry in line with the Government's social contact rules.

Woodblocks as weapons

Arguably one of the most important cultural figures of 20th century China, Lu Xun was a leading left-wing writer and printmaker and a passionate critic of the cultural and political conditions in early 20th century China.

Lu Xun transformed the neglected art of woodblock printing, invented in China more than 1000 years earlier, making the woodblock print a weapon for social change and national resistance.

The new exhibition includes over fifty prints spanning every decade from the 1930s when Xun re-imagined woodblock printing as an instrument for opposition.

A reopening to remember

The Oriental Museum has been closed to the public since March 2020. During this time, staff have been carrying out improvements and working tirelessly to ensure the necessary safety measures are in place.

We are delighted to be working with the Muban Educational Trust to bring this wonderful exhibition to Durham. It is an opportunity for our visitors to enjoy some superb artworks and to learn more about this extraordinary man and his influence on modern China.

The fun facts

Dates for re-opening are subject to change, depending on government restrictions being lifted as outlined in their planned roadmap out of lockdown.

Visitors will be required to pre-book a 2-hour timeslot and follow newly implemented safety measures to ensure the museum remains Covid-secure. For now, the café and shop will remain closed.

The Museum of Archaeology remains closed following roofing repairs at Palace Green Library. Likewise, Durham Castle remains closed with the aim to re-open in summer 2021.

Find out more