Art: Cathay's Treasure

Travelers to Venice last week found themselves in the midst of a major celebration honoring history's most successful travel-book author—Marco Polo. For the 700th anniversary of his birth, the city which once scoffed at his fantastic tales of the Orient* gathered from eleven countries (not including Red China) an exhibition of 951 pieces of Chinese art that would have awed even Marco Polo himself.

While scholars pored over Polo family documents, including Marco's will, 500 tourists a day filed through the Doges' Palace to look at priceless works in bronze, jade, ceramics, textiles and lacquers, dating from the Yin dynasty (1766-1122 B.C.)...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!