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The 1421 Foundation is developing a traveling exhibition which explores the evolution of Chinese world maps through the ages. It has been agreed that the exhibition would be held initially at the Royal Geographical Society, London, and then travel around the world. The aim of the exhibition and accompanying seminars is to provide the world with stunning visual proof that China had been exploring and mapping the world for millennia before the European “Age of Discovery”. The exhibition will bring together, in plain sight and at prestigious and relevant venues, the cartographic proof which shows that great exploratory voyages from Asia had mapped and circumnavigated the world by 1421 AD.


The culmination of these great voyages of discovery can be seen in the “Impossible Black Tulip”, Matteo Ricci’s Chinese world map of 1602, a copy of which the Royal Geographical Society has displayed on its very own walls in the Map Room. Accompanying the two-week exhibition in the RGS Pavilion will be a series of seminars led by a panel of experts from around the world who will show, beyond reasonable doubt, that the great European explorers all set sail using maps which were based on Chinese knowledge of the world, acquired over several millennia of global exploration.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a book, brochure, and television documentary.

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