WASHINGTON (AP) — A rarely seen 400-year-old world map with China at its center is going on display at the Library of Congress.
The map was created in 1602 by Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary from Italy. Ricci was the first Westerner to visit Beijing in the late 1500s and the map was the first in Chinese to show the Americas.
Over the centuries, the map gained the nickname the “Impossible Black Tulip” because it’s been so hard to find.
But last year the James Ford Bell Trust purchased the map for $1 million from a rare book seller in London who acquired the map from a Japanese collector. It will eventually be housed at the University of Minnesota.
The map goes on display Tuesday for three months at the Library of Congress.