October 11, 2016
   Posted in News From Other Sites

, The Washington Post, 11 October 2016

It is an epic tale of love between a teenage princess and a noble emperor, of the first bonds of friendship between China and Tibet that sprung up more than 15 centuries ago. It is a tale of how China brought civilization to its barbarous west, rendered in lavish operatic form.

But this is more than an operatic romanticization of ancient history, it is a deliberate attempt, experts say, to rewrite history in the service of propaganda.

The story of Princess Wencheng Gongzhu and her marriage to Tibetan Emperor Songsten Gampo is the subject of a multimillion dollar opera that plays most nights for tourists in the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Choreographed by the famous Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who also directed the Beijing Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies, it plays out under the stars on a vast stage, with a cast of hundreds and a vast replica of the Potala Palace.

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