The shipment was flown from Bucharest Otopeni airport to Beijing on the 12th January aboard a B777 freighter, which was operated by Emirates. Due to the nature of the cargo, all flight clearances had to be secured through diplomatic channels.
The exhibition will open in Beijing on the 28th January and run until the 8th May 2016, when it will move to the Sichuan Provincial Museum in Chengdu. The artefacts, which date from prehistoric times to the late 18th century and include ceramics, glassworks, mural paintings, manuscripts and textiles, are mainly from the MNIR – although about 30 other Romanian museums have also loaned items. The show is the first of its type and size to be held in China for 66 years, and comes after the MNIR held the “Treasures of China” exhibition in 2013.
Mike Hill, Regional Freight Director for Air Partner Europe, said: “We were honoured to assist in transporting these treasured artefacts to China. The items are of huge cultural and historical importance and we were thrilled to play a role in bringing them to a wider audience. I don’t doubt that they will be missed back in Romania but we have already arranged their return later in the year. My thanks go to Emirates and all the Romanian diplomatic services involved, who all worked tirelessly to ensure that the shipment was delivered on time and in perfect condition.”
Ciprian Popescu, Special Services Manager for TNT Romania, said: “Arranging this flight was a highlight of our longstanding relationship with Air Partner – even though it proved to be more logistically challenging than initially expected! During a time of the year when most people are busy decorating Christmas trees and preparing New Year’s Eve parties, the teams at TNT and Air Partner were working around the clock to make sure that this flight went seamlessly. As a Romanian, it is an honour to be part of this project and serve the country’s best interests. Special thanks go to our Foreign Affairs Ministry for all their support.”