Quanzhou Overseas-relations History Museum
The new Quanzhou Overseas-relations History Museum was built in 1990 on the eastern shore of the lake. It has three exhibition halls: 'Quanzhou and ancient overseas relations,' 'Quanzhou religious stone sculpture,' and 'Quanzhou export ceramics.' There is also a 'Quanzhou Bay Ancient Ship Exhibit' located in the old Kaiyuan temple. Together, the two locations of the museum cover 35,000 square meters, and the exhibition space approaches 4,000 square meters.
The Quanzhou Bay Ancient Ships Exhibit is located on the east side of the Kaiyuan Temple. A total space of 1,307 square meters is divided into the reception hall, the ships hall, and a hall for artifacts that have been excavated from ocean?going vessels. The reception room has the aspect of a harbor. The ancient remains of a ship that is 24.2 meters long and 9.15 meters wide are exhibited here and constitute one of the most important of the exhibits.
Items excavated from oceangoing vessels are displayed on the second floor. Exhibited are things from shipwrecked ocean vessels that have been recovered, including a Song dynasty ship that was excavated in 1982 - the objects that accompanied that Fashi ship are displayed here as well as a 1 to 10 model of the ship itself.
The Quanzhou and ancient overseas-relations exhibition hall are located in a space that is divided into chronological dynastic sections. These display the circumstances surrounding Quanzhou's ancient commerce. The exhibition includes 200 photographs and 300 objects.
The Quanzhou religious sculptures are located in the east exhibition hall. Around 300 sculptures are on display that were left in Quanzhou and passed on to later generations by religious representatives of the Song and Yuan periods. Religions represented include, most importantly, Islam, also Nestorian Christian and various religions from India.
The Quanzhou Exhibition of Export Ceramics is on the second floor of the exhibition hall. According to a set timetable, exhibitions rotate from neolithic period to modern Quanzhou-area ceramic production, as well as a comprehensive exhibit of ceramics through all periods. Some 420 antique ceramic pieces are included, as well as a small number of new pieces. In addition to the three special exhibits that are open to the public, on the second floor the Quanzhou Overseas?relations History Museum has an 800-square meter space in which is exhibited 'China's Customs History.' This is organized with the cooperation of the Customs General Administration, and with the Customs service of Xiamen and the Customs service of Quanzhou.
The Quanzhou Overseas-relations History Museum has a total of 3,000 objects in its collections. Among these, several dozen are first and second-grade cultural relics. Of these, the ancient articles excavated from ancient ships and the religious sculptures are considered most valuable. Among the collections of this museum are also some that relate to the history of overseas Chinese, and there are also Spanish silver coins and such foreign articles from the time when Quanzhou's overseas-relations were at their height.