Uh-oh. Looks like those suspiciously Caucasian mummies from Xinjiang are making trouble again. Or so says an AP report in early January 2011:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A museum just days away from opening a long-awaited exhibit including two mummies and other historical artifacts from China is gutting the display of all objects at the request of Chinese officials, the museum announced Wednesday.
The artifacts were part of “Secrets of the Silk Road,” which is scheduled to open Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. The exhibit has already traveled to museums in California and Texas without issue. Visitors to the Philadelphia museum will see a pared-down exhibit.
But China’s sensitivities about mummies with Caucasian features unearthed in Xinjiang are long-standing. Here’s a piece I wrote last year showing how foreign news reports about these mummies are translated into Chinese and then edited to ensure political correctness:
Imagine you work for the China Unity Department: It’s your 24/7 mission to convey that, more or less since Day One, the Middle Kingdom has ruled all the land claimed by the PRC, including Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. [Read more…]