One of the 10 most visited museums in the world, the gallery is currently undergoing renovation in preparation for its bicentenary celebration next year.
Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, described the exhibition as "the National Gallery in miniature".
The 52 artworks were transported in seven batches to Shanghai unaccompanied by staff of the British institution. The most expensive piece, Long Grass With Butterflies by Van Gogh, which has an estimated insured valuation of 1 billion yuan ($147.7 million), was the last to arrive on Jan 12 due to flight cancellations.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, the Shanghai Museum has made artwork transactions via web conference with foreign counterparts multiple times.
For example, the museum held a large exhibition titled West Encounters East: A Cultural Conversation Between Chinese and European Ceramics, which featured ceramic objects from the Guimet Museum in Paris, dedicated to Asian arts, in 2021.
The significance of international exhibitions not only lies in the exchange of artworks, but also the communications between museum staff, says Chu Xin, deputy director of the exhibition department at the Shanghai Museum.
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