Source: Xinhua

08-08-2008 07:32

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Half an hour's drive to the southwest from the 2008 Olympics' venue, the Bird's Nest, the Capital Museum is quietly stealing some of the glamour from the quadrennial games.

The Ancient Greek Olympics has unveiled its curtain there, accompanied by four other exhibits featuring ancient Chinese civilization.

Photo taken at about the zero hour on Aug. 8 shows the National Stadium, namely the Bird's Nest, in Beijing, China, 20-hour countdown to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be held in the Bird's Nest at 8 p.m. on Aug. 8. (Xinhuanet Photo)
Photo taken at about the zero hour on Aug. 8 shows the National
Stadium, namely the Bird's Nest, in Beijing, China, 20-hour
countdown to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The opening
ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be held in the
Bird's Nest at 8 p.m. on Aug. 8. (Xinhuanet Photo)

One week after they were staged in the run-up to the summer Olympics that opens on Friday, these exhibits are promoting the blend of Western and Eastern civilizations.

Visitors almost tripled from the usual 5,000 a day to more than 13,000 on Thursday, forcing the museum management to consider providing evening services to reduce daytime crowds. That could make it the first museum in China to open in the evening.

Unlike stadiums teeming with cheering spectators, the ancient Olympic Games exhibit, enlivened by 166 Greek relics, received only whispered but frequent "wows". The sculptures, pottery and coins, mostly being shown for the first time overseas here, conjured up not only sports but also the long-lost competitions in drama, poems and music.