An exhibition entitled the vast South China Sea – Guangzhou and the Maritime Silk Road went underway Thursday at the Jiangning Museum in Nanjing. The exhibition is meant to increase the exchanges between the Chinese cities bidding for world heritage status for the Maritime Silk Road.

70 rare artifacts are on display by courtesy of the Nanyue Imperial Palace Museum in Guangzhou. They shed light on the 2000-year-long relationship between ancient Guangzhou and the ancient Maritime Silk Road since the late Qin Dynasty and the early Han Dynasty.

According to the artifacts, the glass glazed tiles of West Asia and the European style stone pillars appeared in Guangzhou more than 2,000 years ago.

Through the Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou grew into a world famous oriental Port. A number of exotic products such as spices, pearls, ivory, Persian blue glazed pottery unearthed in Guangzhou, as well as exported porcelain from various periods in ancient China, have become witnesses to the exchange and integration of the cultures around the world.

Guangzhou is now bidding for world heritage status for the Maritime Silk Road, following the inclusion of the six heritage sites, including the Nanyue King Mausoleum and Guangxiao Monastery, into the list of candidate Chinese world heritage sites.

9 Chinese cities are seeking UNESCO World Heritage status for the ancient route. They include Nanjing, Beihai, Guangzhou, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, Ningbo, Yangzhou, Penglai and Fuzhou.

The Exhibition, which offers Free Admission, will last until September 9th.