One-Tank Trip for Feb. 22/14
(c) By Jim Fox
Ahoy mateys – be on the lookout for pirates and treasure recovered from the depths of the oceans.
And, check out some 250 treasures that were part of imperial life from China’s Forbidden City.
They are featured in two special exhibitions being shown for the first time in Canada at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto.
|Visitors can learn about shipwrecks and the recovery of their valuable cargoes at the Waterloo Region Museum.|
Shiver me timbers
“Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure” is an exhibit containing hundreds of shipwreck artifacts collected from beneath the surface of the oceans.
The exhibit, created by Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration, is on daily through April 30 at the Waterloo Region Museum.
It includes an interactive gallery and activities to “immerse visitors with the lore, legends and facts of pirates” from the Caribbean, Barbary corsairs from North Africa, privateers and buccaneers.
Visitors can find out what it’s like to be a shipwreck explorer, captain of a sinking ship or a pirate on the run along with hands-on activities such as a robotic arm to pick up treasure and a hurricane simulator to challenge storms.
|Hundreds of shipwreck artifacts are on display at an exhibition at the Waterloo Region Museum.|
There are some “500 priceless artifacts” recovered from famous shipwrecks including gold and silver treasures from thousands of leagues under the seas.
Interactive games and challenges “allow visitors to experience the thrill of shipwreck exploration while investigating some of the world’s greatest maritime stories,” said James Jensen, curator of exhibits.
Tracing some 2,000 years of seafaring history, the exhibit showcases Odyssey Marine Exploration’s archeological work.
It presents the “stories of shipwrecks, passengers and artifacts once lost to the deep and now recovered and shared with the public,” said Mark Gordon, president and chief operating officer.
There’s a full-size replica of ZEUS, Odyssey's remotely operated vehicle that acts as the archaeologist’s hands and eyes in the deep ocean.
|Treasures recovered from shipwrecks, including Second World War silver from the SS Gairsoppa, are on exhibit at the Waterloo Region Museum.|
Odyssey’s discoveries include the SS Republic, HMS Victory, lost in 1744 in the Channel Island, and SS Gairsoppa, sunk in 1941 by a German U-boat’s torpedo.
Deep in the Atlantic Ocean, Odyssey discovered the Republic, called the greatest shipwreck of the 1860’s American Civil War era, recovering 51,000 rare coins and 14,000 artifacts.
On display are gold bars, silver bullion and coins from the ships.
Explore pirate lore, legend and facts, including the infamous Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, and see a 1700’s pirate cannon. 10 Huron Rd., Kitchener; waterlooregionmuseum.com; (519) 748-1914
The Royal Ontario Museum is opening the gates of China’s Forbidden City on March 8.
Called “The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors,” it runs until Sept. 1 and launches the ROM’s year-long centennial celebrations.
|A portrait of Emperor Yongzheng in his study will be shown at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Forbidden City exhibition. (The Palace Museum photo)|
“Canadians will see 250 treasures that were part of imperial life with these incredibly rare artifacts being seen outside China for first time,” said publicist Marilynne Friedman.
Many of the objects, including textiles, calligraphy, paintings and armour, have never before travelled outside China.
“The ROM’s exhibition takes visitors on a remarkable journey to the heart of the Forbidden City – once off limits to all but a privileged few,” said Janet Carding, ROM director and chief executive officer.
Presented in collaboration with Beijing’s Palace Museum, the items are complemented by artifacts from the ROM’s collections that “tell captivating stories and reveal the fascinating characters” that made the Forbidden City the centre of an immense empire for more than 500 years.
|This imperial throne set is part of the ROM’s China’s Forbidden City exhibition. (The Palace Museum)|
There will be an extensive rotation of objects half way through the exhibition’s engagement due to a significant number of light-sensitive textiles and paintings.
In the exhibition’s “climatic section,” there’s a look inside the emperor’s personal spaces that were once forbidden to all but the ruler.
It showcases exquisite objects including jades, calligraphies and ceramics and an exceedingly rare porcelain “chicken” cup, commissioned by Emperor Chenghua for his mother. 100 Queens Park, Toronto; rom.on.ca; (416) 586-8000
The great outdoors
The Outdoor Adventure Show, presented by Ontario Tourism, continues through Sunday at the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd.) in Mississauga.
It’s a “must-attend” event for the passionate outdoor adventurer, said publicist Helen Lovekin.
There are more than 300 exhibitors with everything for the outdoors from camping and paddling excursions to zip lining, climbing rock walls and scuba diving.
Pros demonstrate canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard along with “awe-inspiring” travel presentations and children’s activities. OutdoorAdventureShow.ca
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca