Actor Duan Yihong delivers a monologue as the Spirit of the Sword of Goujian in the show National Treasure. [Photo provided to China Daily]
National Treasure has Chinese television audiences fired up. But don't confuse it with the Hollywood action film from 2004 of the same name. In that film, Nicolas Cage painstakingly sneaks into museums, steals artifacts, and discovers the hidden history of the United States going back around 250 years.
In the Chinese variety show, producers at China Central Television are lucky: China has a much longer history, and their proposal to "borrow" artifacts was welcomed by nine top-tier museums, which were eager to help make their collections come alive.
The museums that participated were the Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, and eight key province-level museums.