CHICAGO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago now offers a Mandarin audio tour to attract more Chinese visitors.
The tour features highlights of the museum to help visitors understand the remarkable artifacts on display from the ancient Middle East.
"It is a great opportunity to show Chicago as such a global city," Joleen Haran, assistant director of tourism at the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, told Xinhua. Haran said that China has been a fast-growing market of international travelers to the United States since both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007.
By 2013, visitors from China to the United States are expected to grow 61 percent over 2008, Haran said.
Gil J. Stein, director of the Oriental Institute, pinpointed the importance of intensifying mutual understanding between people from the United States and China, suggesting that visits are the perfect solution.
"We welcome visitors from China. We have 300,000 objects here and have arranged a tour of our exhibit in Mandarin so that our visitors from China will come and learn about the U.S. and Chicago," Stein said.
The Oriental Institute Museum is known for housing leading collections of art and artifacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia, as well as other areas in the region stretching from present-day Turkey to Israel.
The preliterate scripts on tortoise shells and animal bones dating back to the Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C.-1100 B.C.), from which the Chinese characters originate, will be on display during the museum exhibition.