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0264 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 264 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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robes used at religious temple-dances, as well as several queer masks used on the same occasions. In another group we find the usual musical instruments, such as trumpets, horns, drums, flutes, cymbals and conch-trumpets. The largest copper trumpets are ten feet in length.

From the centre of the ceiling a gigantic gilded dragon carved in wood looks down fiercely upon the demons and evil ghosts who dare to disturb the peace of the sacred hall.

The hidden electric sources of light have, certainly, the effect that the upper parts of the temple are more strongly lighted than in an ordinary temple, where all artificial light is absent; but only by this means are the rich details in the painting and the wood-carving made clearly visible for visitors.

The magnificently rich and precious furnishing of carpets, sculptures, paintings, articles of furniture and all the other accessories of the cult are all genuine, and were collected by MONTELL from different lama temples in Mongolia and North China. They invest this temple-copy with an atmosphere that is at once artistic, historical and charged with emotional values. All the magnificence and mysticism of lamaism is assembled in this hall.

Thanks to the skill and diligence of all those engaged in the work, the construction of the temple was completed only a week behind the scheduled time; and on November 19th it could be opened to the general public.

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this temple was from the very outset not intended to be merely one of the attractions and places of interest at the great Exposition; its preservation for Occidental culture was in the first place for purely scientific purposes. It was, in fact, intended to enable students of religious history to acquire an intimate knowledge of a genuine lama temple, to see it with their own eyes and to study its complete equipment and decorations.

At the same time it is well to remember that this temple is not one of thousands of others to be found at random in the eastern and interior parts of Asia. On the contrary, it was chosen by us as the very finest and most representative specimen among all those seen by us during our travels.'

The uncertainty evinced by the gentlemen in Chicago concerning the erection of the temple made it necessary for me to remain behind, and with my authority to see through the execution of the original plan. The hope of procuring one or several financial sponsors for my projected motor-car expedition through the whole of Asia and Europe was also one of the reasons why I stayed on for so long in Chicago, instead of rejoining my expedition in China. I hoped that the temple, when

1 The World's Fair »A Century of Progress» opened in 1933, and was prolonged to 1934. Thereafter the temple was dismounted and placed in a warehouse, together with the temple furnishings. In 1939 the Golden Pavilion was erected anew, this time at the New York World's Fair. After this second exhibition it was dismounted again, and at the time of writing (1943) the temple replica and its beautiful furnishings rest in their crates and cases in some New York storehouse. F. B.