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WASHINGTON (AP) — A rarely seen 30-scroll set of nature paintings from 18th century Japan is drawing huge crowds to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the museum is extending its hours to accommodate more people.

The “Colorful Realm of Living Beings” by artist Ito Jakuchu has drawn 143,000 visitors at an average of 6,800 per day. The museum said Friday that attendance rivals its top 10 exhibits in history.

For the show’s last weekend, April 27-29, the museum will remain open until 8 p.m. each night. Then the painted scrolls will return to Japan’s royal family collection.

Jakuchu created the intricate paintings of birds, flowers, insects, fish and other animals more than 250 years ago. This is
the first time they have been shown all together outside of Japan.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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