Ask any child in China what is Matafeiyan (马踏飞燕), he will tell you right from his head it's the famous bronze statue of a lifelike horse in Gansu Provincial Museum. Matafeiyan is one of the most amazing exhibits in this Museum. As its name suggests, Matafeiyan gives us a vivid picture of a galloping horse which looks like a swallow flying in the air. It was discovered in a mausoleum during Han Dynasty in an ancient town named Weiwu in Gansu.This is probably the best example of the fine craftmanship of ancient people. It's a must see for every tourist going on a sightseeing tour in Gansu.
Located on No 3 West Xijin Road in Lanzhou, Gansu, this comprehensive museum has collections of more than 350,000 pieces ranging from bronzewares in Shang and Zhou Dynasties to porcelain, silk fabrics, paintings and wood carvings from later ancient dynasties in China. The construction of this museum is completed in 1956. After several times of restoration work, it was formly opened to the public in 2006 with a total area of 28,000 sq.m, 7,600 sq.m used for storage purpose and 9,000 for exhibition. It is a modern digital museum with easy access to Internet resources facilitating the visitors' understanding of the various cultural relics in the museum.
Apart from the gorgeous bronze horse statue, other famous exhibits are also on display. Huanghe Elephant fossile, four meters tall, eight meters long with two meters long tusks (黄河古象化石) is one of them. It is the largest fossile in China and the most complete skeleton of a stegodon in the world. Besides, here is the largest fossile specimen of prehistoric life in Asia namely mamenchisaurus, a kind of dragon discovered in Hechuan (合川) county, Sichuan Province.
Based on the characteristics of the exhibits in Gansu Provincial Museum, three major exhibition halls each taking a different theme were set up: the colored pottery exhibition hall, the hall for civilization on the Silk Road and the fossile specimen hall. Each one of them represents a specific aspect of this museum providing great opportunity for you to appreciat e the numerous exhibits in it.
The museum opens during 9:00-17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. Everyday free commentaries are given to visitors by professional guides at 9:30 in the morning and 15:00 in the afternoon. Entrance ticket is free, but if you want to go there, you'll first have to get a permission ticket with valid certificates like ID card. They give out 2,000 tickets per day, 1,200 for morning visits and 800 for afternoon vistors.
The museum is across from Friendship Hotel and several buses like No1, No 18 and No 31 can take there.