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Playwright Tang Xianzu's tomb found in E China

Xinhua/ | Updated: 2017-08-29 10:41

Playwright Tang Xianzu's tomb found in E China

Tang Xianzu's family cemetery is discovered in Fuzhou city of East China's Jiangxi province. [Photo/VCG]

The tomb of ancient playwright Tang Xianzu has been discovered in Fuzhou city of East China's Jiangxi province, archaeologists announced at a news conference on Monday.

A cluster of tombs was discovered in Fuzhou at the end of last year, after a plant built in the 1950s was leveled.

According to the press release, a total of 42 tombs were found, including 40 from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Archaeologists also discovered six epitaphs, including several believed to be written by Tang himself. They believe a tomb identified as "M4" contained Tang and his third wife Fu, while his second wife Zhao was buried in tomb "M3."

Tang, born in 1550, was a famous Chinese playwright best known for four plays dubbed the "Four Dreams." His masterpiece "Peony Pavilion" tells of a romance between an official's daughter and a poor scholar, as they pursued love and freedom. A play adapted from this story has been performed for international audiences.

Tang died the same year as British playwright William Shakespeare, and the coincidence has drawn comparisons between the two.

Shakespeare's hometown Stratford-upon-Avon has become a tourist destination in England. A Tudor-style two-story terrace where he was born was preserved, and welcomes groups of international visitors every day.

In April, the government of Fuzhou donated statues of Tang and Shakespeare to Stratford-upon-Avon, which showed the pair standing shoulder to shoulder.

In China, however, there was no specific place to commemorate Tang Xianzu. Prior to the discovery of his tomb, an empty tomb had been built in the People's Park in Fuzhou in the 1980s.

Thus, Fuzhou city government has planned to build a tourist area at the site.

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