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Metropolitan Museum Offers Preview of Landmark Chinese Art Exhibition for Columbus Day "Holiday Monday"

Shops and Cafes Also Open

(New York, October 1, 2004) – Visitors to The Metropolitan Museum of Art during its next "Holiday Monday" – Columbus Day, October 11 – will enjoy a special opportunity to view the landmark exhibition China: Dawn of A Golden Age, 200-750 AD on the day before it officially opens to the public. The exhibition brings together more than 300 works of extreme rarity and cultural importance, most of them recently excavated, and many never seen outside China.

Inaugurated in 2003, the Holiday Monday program opens the Metropolitan Museum's galleries and special exhibitions to the public on the Mondays of major holiday weekends. Over the next year, in addition to Columbus Day, the Metropolitan Museum's main building will be open to the public on the following Monday holidays: December 27, 2004 (the Monday between Christmas and New Year's Day), January 17 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), February 21 (Presidents' Day), and May 30, 2005 (Memorial Day). The Museum had previously been closed to the public on Mondays for some 30 years.

"Over the past 12 months, nearly 90,000 people have chosen to spend their Holiday Mondays at the Metropolitan Museum," commented Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan. "Many who availed themselves of this special viewing opportunity have said that they do so because their leisure time is otherwise limited – whether they are tourists who are in the City for a brief period or nearby residents who have work and family responsibilities. With the interests of these visitors in mind, we are pleased to open China: Dawn of a Golden Age to the public a day early."

David E. McKinney, President on the Metropolitan, continued: "The proximity of the Columbus Day Parade route to the Museum means that parents who are outside with their children watching the parade can continue their day's excursion with a visit to the Met. As we are reminding such audiences, Columbus traveled half way around the world in search of China; on October 11, China will be only blocks from the Columbus Day Parade. We hope that many of them will decide to come and explore the Museum together."

In addition to China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD, special exhibitions that will be on view on the Columbus Day weekend in the Museum's main building include: The Colonial Andes: Tapestry and Silverwork, 1530-1830, Art Deco Paris, and Andy Goldsworthy on the Roof (weather permitting).

Family greeters in red aprons will again be on duty in the Museum's Great Hall to direct families to areas of particular interest. Also available on Holiday Mondays, for families with children under 12, is a 2-for-1 Audio Guide rental offer. With each rental of the Audio Guide ($6 general, $5 member, $4 child), the rental of one guide for a child under 12 is free. In addition to some 1,200 audio messages about works of art located throughout the Museum, the Audio Guide also includes 100 audio messages designed especially for children ages 6 to 12.

The Audio Guide program is sponsored by Bloomberg.

A different selection of galleries and exhibitions will be open on each Holiday Monday.

The Metropolitan's new public cafeteria and several of the Museum gift shops in the main building will be open on all Holiday Mondays.

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