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Lisbon's Museum of the Orient highlights Portugal's history in Asia

From textiles to tai chi, gallery stands as testament to enduring connection

LISBON -- The building sits in splendid isolation: an immense 1940s warehouse, beautifully whitewashed and fronted with sculpted panels and a glass entrance, set on the Lisbon waterfront where ancient caravel sailing ships set out in search of the treasures of Asia.

This sprawling edifice of more than 10,000 sq. meters was once used to store dried slabs of bacalhau, or salted codfish. Now, the capitals across the top indicate a different sort of imported loot, spelling out Museu do Oriente (Museum of the Orient).

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