VivoCity to Stage World Premiere of Exhibition on Rare Treasures from the Maritime Silk Route
25/06/2010

25 June 2010, Singapore – From 25 June to 18 July 2010, visitors to VivoCity, Singapore's largest retail and lifestyle destination, will be among the first in the world to catch the exciting and unique exhibition featuring rare treasures carried on ancient treasure ships that plied along the great Maritime Silk Route.

Bringing to life the unique museum-in-a-mall concept, The Central Court Level 1 in VivoCity, will be transformed into a 3,000-square foot museum for shoppers and museum enthusiasts to appreciate world-class art, culture and history in an unusual mall setting. VivoCity will be the first stop in the four-city tour that will also see the exhibition travel to China and the Middle East.

"This exhibition is set to change the way we look at malls," says Chang Yeng Cheong, General Manager of VivoCity. "As the biggest mall in Singapore, we are looking forward to presenting an exciting world-first event of this stature to our shoppers. This is in keeping with our philosophy that VivoCity is not just about shopping but embracing art as an integral part of our total lifestyle experience.

"From China to Arabia: Ancient Treasure Ships and the Great Oman Voyage" aims to recreate the wonders of the legends of these treasure ships in six newly-constructed galleries and a purpose-built theatre in VivoCity. (Please see Annex 1 for more details on the galleries and Annex 2 on curators' biographies). This is a compelling exhibition of rare treasures dating from the 9th century AD through to the height of trade in the 16th century AD and references recent discoveries from Oman and an ancient merchant's ship (dhow) found off the coast of Indonesia in 1998.

The exhibition will feature more than 90 actual artefacts from the Museum of East Asian Art (MEEA) in Bath, UK, together with Arabian artefacts from the Bait Al Zubair Museum in Oman, as well as pottery sherds from the archaeological sites of Sohar and Qalhat, courtesy of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman.

This National Geographic exhibition "From China to Arabia: Ancient Treasure Ships and The Great Oman Voyage" will coincide with the "Ancient Treasure Ship" series that will broadcast on the National Geographic Channel across Southeast Asia at 7pm (HK/SIN) every Saturday, 3 July to 17 July. The series reveals discovery of significant treasure fleets in three individual stories:

- Secrets of the Tang Treasure Ship (3 July)
- Treasure Fleet: Adventures of Zheng He (10 July)
- Arab Treasure Ship (Premiere in Southeast Asia on 17 July)

The exhibition will also coincide with the arrival of the Jewel of Muscat to Singapore, a 9th century dhow, which has been reconstructed and will sail from Oman to Singapore to replay the events in this significant period of time.

"The role of malls, especially in Asia, is fast changing," said Dr. Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist and National Geographic Fellow. "We are pleased to partner VivoCity to bring this unique exhibition to Singapore. As the first venue to stage this innovative exhibition, VivoCity's philosophy of embracing art is a major trend-setter and will encourage other malls and museums in Asia to follow their lead."

Admission to the exhibition is at a nominal fee of just $2 per person, with free admission for children 12 years old and under. Tickets are sold at customer service counters on Levels 1 and 2 (near Lobby L) at VivoCity. As part of VivoCity's ongoing initiative to support the arts and nurture talents, the nett proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the charity Very Special Arts Singapore. (OCBC card members get to redeem one ticket per day, limited to the first 100 persons).

Visitors to the exhibition can also participate in the "Gold Rush" game on 10-11 July and 17-18 July at VivoCity. Every $50 spent on the same day with no more than two combined receipts and together with a museum stub allows customers to dig for precious gems and gold sponsored by The Diamond Atelier and win many other attractive prizes. An avid supporter of the arts and the official jeweler for the event, the diamond atelier will be giving each visitor to the museum an S$80 Lee Hwa voucher.

About VivoCity
With over 1 million square feet of lettable floor space attracting a diverse mix of over 300 retailers, large event spaces, including an outdoor amphitheatre, a 20,000sf open plaza and a 300metre-long waterfront Promenade, VivoCity is Singapore's largest and most diverse retail and lifestyle destination. Designed by world-renowned architect Toyo Ito, VivoCity is the centre-piece of Singapore's newest lifestyle hub at the HarbourFront, which also includes Sentosa and Resorts World Sentosa, Mt Faber, the Singapore Cruise Centre and St James Power Station.

About Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Mapletree, the developer of VivoCity, is a leading Asia-focused real estate capital management company. It owns and manages real estate assets of about S$12 billion comprising office, logistics, business park, industrial and retail/lifestyle properties across Asia. To support its regional business, Mapletree has established an extensive network and presence in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.

As a leading Asian real estate capital management company, Mapletree is focused on investing in Asian markets and real estate sectors with good growth potential. Its business philosophy is to shape new ways to deliver value to its stakeholders from real estate and related investments. It aims to be a strategic real estate partner providing real estate solutions, including capital management and quality property-related services and products, to its business partners.

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