Plaster casts of sculptures donated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) to the Museum of the National Taipei University of Education provide a rare opportunity for the public to see a canon of Western sculpture, the organizers of the exhibition said on Monday.
The exhibition opened in July and features casts of 11 northern European, French and Italian sculptures dated between the 12th and 19th centuries.
They are among about 100 plaster casts that were donated by the Met to the Taipei museum in 2006.
So far, 11 of these casts, including Lion Crushing a Serpent by French sculptor Antoine Louis Barye, have been put on display at the permanent exhibition.
“Taiwanese rarely have a chance to see Western artwork replicas that so closely resemble the authentic pieces, making this a truly unique opportunity,” Lin Mun-lee (林曼麗), planning director of the Taipei museum, told reporters after a promotional press conference.
She said her museum and the Met hope to establish close ties in areas such as repairs and human resources exchanges.
Lin, a former National Palace Museum director, said she hopes the exhibition can be taken on a tour of elementary schools, high schools and universities around the nation so students see the sculptures.
Charles Little, curator of the Met’s Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters, said that although the artworks are reproductions, “they take on a life of their own.”
“This collection could be an important vehicle in building bridges artistically, aesthetically, intellectually and educationally,” he said.
It is the first time that the Met has made such a donation to a museum in Asia, he added.