Palace Museum opens Olympic Park exhibit

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-08-12 07:50:02

Palace Museum opens Olympic Park exhibit

Fung Ming-Chu, director of Taipei's National Palace Museum, takes photos of the displayed relics at the Olympic Park Observation Tower in Beijing on Tuesday. JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY

The Palace Museum opened a new exhibition hall in the Olympic Park Observation Tower on Tuesday that will feature items from the former royal collections.

Wuxing, or the five-element theory of traditional Chinese philosophy, guides the theme for the 700 square-meter exhibit hall, said Shan Jixiang, the museum's director.

Highlighted collections of gold and silver wares (representing gold), furniture (wood), jade (water), bronze (fire), and porcelains (earth) will be displayed, one each year, until 2020.

The opening exhibit features 202 pieces of gold and silver items, including antique clocks, Buddhist statues and jewelry. Daily-use articles, such as a gold Sichuan hotpot, are also included.

"An institution combining traditional Chinese culture and people's modern lifestyles is the best way to prolong the Olympic spirit," said Sun Qijun, deputy director of Beijing's Chaoyang district government, at the opening ceremony. "It will bring a new cultural landmark to Beijing."

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, was China's royal palace from 1420 to 1911. It now houses 1.8 million cultural relics, but only a fraction of those can be shown to the public due to concerns over protecting the ancient artifacts, Shan said.

The tower hall is the first permanent exhibit outside of the Forbidden City.

"The new exhibition hall thus becomes an important complement," Shan said. "And the displayed articles this time are all highlighted collections, which are difficult to simultaneously show to the public in the old palace."

While the Palace Museum attracts about 15 million visitors, the Olympic Park receives 30 million visitors every year, so its choice for the new exhibit will create a lasting cultural legacy, Shan said.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a 167-square-meter digital cinema screening featuring high-definition documentaries about the Forbidden City. The museum also has developed nearly 7,000 souvenirs.

An entry ticket to the observation tower costs 70 yuan ($11). No extra ticket is needed for the exhibition hall. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.


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