Summer Palace displays treasures saved in wartime

( ) Updated: 2015-12-29 16:18:06

Summer Palace displays treasures saved in wartime

Cultural relics are on display at an exhibition at the Garden of Harmonious Virtue in Beijing's Summer Palace on Dec 28, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

An exhibition of 73 treasures saved from the "Relics Transfer to South Movement" during China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression opened at the Garden of Harmonious Virtue in Beijing's Summer Palace on Monday.

Nearly 30 treasures from the Summer Palace's collection were exhibited to the public for the first time in more than 60 years.

According to historical records, back in 1930s, thousands boxes of treasured relics from Beijing's Palace Museum and Summer Palace were transported to the south to seek refuge during the wartime.

After the the "September 18th Incident" in 1931, Japan occupied Northeast China and continued its encroachment of China.

The national government of China at the time rapidly took action to save national treasures before their destruction or theft by the Japanese army and decided to transport them from the Summer Palace and the Palace Museum to the southern China.

With China's victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the national treasures moved via the southern transportation were returned to Nanjing in 1947, and then transported to their original places in 1950 after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Historical records stated that a total of 2,445 cultural relics from the Summer Palace were carried away, but only 368 pieces returned to Beijing in the 1950s, accounting for only 15 percent of the treasures moved. This batch of cultural relics has become the core of the Summer Palace's collection.

Staff from the Summer Palace planned the exhibition for one year, displaying 73 treasures and precious historical documents that record this extraordinary time in history.

The exhibition will last until February.

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