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  • Durham OnAir

Oriental Museum re-opens to the public with Lu Xun’s Legacy exhibition

One of Durham University’s most popular visitor attractions will re-open to the public in May 2021 with a new exhibition, Lu Xun's Legacy: Print Making in Modern China.

To celebrate their re-opening, visitors will be granted free entry.

Arguably one of the most important cultural figures of 20th century China, Lu Xun was a leading left-wing writer and printmaker and a passionate critic of the cultural and political conditions in early 20th century China.

Lu Xun transformed the neglected art of woodblock printing, invented in China more than 1000 years earlier, making the woodblock print a weapon for social change and national resistance.

The new exhibition includes over fifty prints spanning every decade from the 1930s when Xun re-imagined woodblock printing as an instrument for opposition.

The Oriental Museum has been closed to the public since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. During this time, staff have been carrying out improvements and working tirelessly to ensure the necessary safety measures are in place to be able to welcome back visitors.

Visitors will be required to pre-book a 2-hour timeslot and follow newly implemented safety measures to ensure the museum remains Covid-secure. For now, the café and shop will remain closed.

Rachel Barclay, Curator of Durham University’s Oriental Museum, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Muban Educational Trust to bring this wonderful exhibition to Durham. It is an opportunity for our visitors to enjoy some superb artworks and to learn more about this extraordinary man and his influence on modern China.’

The Oriental Museum will re-open on Wednesday 19 May with free entry to visitors, in line with the Government's social contact limits rule of six or two households, up to a maximum of six per booking.

Opening times will be 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Friday and 12pm-4pm, Saturday to Sunday, remaining closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to allow staff to continue their university teaching commitments.

Dates for re-opening are subject to change, depending on government restrictions being lifted as outlined in their planned roadmap out of lockdown.

The Museum of Archaeology remains closed following roofing repairs at Palace Green Library. Likewise, Durham Castle remains closed with the aim to re-open in summer 2021.

Oriental Museum bookings will open on Wednesday 12 May for visits the following week – further details can be found at

For details of the museum and visitor information, please visit our website:


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