American Airlines flies Summer Palace treasures to the US

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American Airlines Boeing 787

American Airlines Cargo has transported six tonnes of treasures from China’s Summer Palace to be exhibited in the US for the first time.

The airline worked in conjunction with curators from the Bowers Museum of Orange County to bring important items from the life of Empress Dowager Cixi for the exhibition starting on 12 November.

The treasure was carefully packaged by Bowers Museum representatives, and American managed the logistical challenge of transporting the delicate material from Beijing the Los Angeles.

The artefacts were shipped before American launched its Beijing – Los Angeles service so the 35 crates were trucked to Shanghai and loaded onto a Boeing 787-8 to fly to Los Angeles.

American Airlines Cargo president, Rick Elieson says: “It’s a wonderful honour to be of service in bringing this incredible exhibit to the Western world for the first time. I’m incredibly proud of how carefully our team worked to ensure the integrity of these treasured artefacts.”

Bowers Museum president, Dr Peter Keller adds: “For the first time, audiences will see this mysterious woman come alive through her furnishings, including a reinstallation of one of her throne rooms complete with imperial accessories, lavish clothing, and her most treasured possessions; many of which were gifts from foreign diplomats and court officials.”

The exhibit reconstructs the matriarch’s everyday life in the Summer Palace, presenting her multi-faceted roles in politics, matriarch and connoisseur of various arts through four different sections and over 100 objects that have never been seen before in the US.