Tulsa, OK – Officials from The University of Tulsa and the Daming Palace Academy in China on Thursday agreed to begin deepening relationships between the two institutions.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by TU President Dr. Steadman Upham and Dr. Zhou Bing, President of Daming Palace Academy.
The Daming Palace National Heritage Park is a $1.76 billion government project to preserve the imperial palace of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, was home to a population of one million during this period, making it the world's biggest city at the time. The city was the starting point of the Silk Road, which continued to bring great wealth to the country while turning it into a religious and cultural melting pot for more than 1,000 years.
Because of this significance, the Daming Palace preservation effort has been recognized internationally as one of the world's most important preservation projects.
Representatives from the Daming Palace Academy have traveled to Oklahoma this week to visit cultural destinations and meet with local and state officials, including Gov. Brad Henry, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith, Secretary of State Susan Savage, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa Metro Chamber Chairman Don Walker.
In addition to the signing ceremony on TU's campus, the delegation on Thursday will be touring Gilcrease Museum and visiting with Cherokee Nation representatives about their cultural tourism efforts.
During the signing ceremony, the officials announced that the institutions will exchange significant cultural gifts later this month:
* TU will be providing three major reproductions of bronzes by famed Western artist Frederic Remington held in the Gilcrease Museum permanent collection.
* Daming Palace Academy will be presenting "The Four Great Archives of Chinese Civilization," a 200-volume collection containing more than 18 000 artistic, literary and historical documents of Chinese history and culture. TU will be one of only a handful of institutions outside of China to hold the collection, which will be housed in TU's McFarlin Library.
Daming Palace Academy officials have expressed interest in establishing relationships with TU because of the university's management of the world-renowned Gilcrease Museum and its new museum studies graduate program. TU representatives are expected to participate in a reciprocal visit this summer.
The Daming Palace Academy delegation visit was organized by the Tulsa-based Sino-International Foundation of Education, Arts, and Humanities (SIFEAH), including the organization's Chairman Jerry Dillon and COO Raymond Liu, in cooperation with the TU Center for Global Educ