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Palace Museum apologizes for recent scandals

08-22-2011 08:25 BJT

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The Palace Museum in Beijing, home to a number of national treasures, has been under public scrutiny since May. News of rare antiques damaged by staff and other items stolen due to poor security leads to great public discontent.

The Palace Museum's top official admitted on Friday that mistakes had been made and he apologized to media. But this hasn't eliminated concern about whether China's national treasures are really in safe hands.

The Forbidden City, China's top national museum, is making headlines again, but for all the wrong reasons. It all started three months ago, when nine precious objects were stolen in front of palace security guards and cameras.

Six of these treasures were later found by the police, but one was damaged. When it was later made known, the public started to question Palace security and the curator of the Palace museum, Zheng Xinmiao, admitted there were loopholes.

In an interview with Xinhua News Agency on Friday, Zheng said problems did exist, both with security personnel and equipment. But while Palace guards are expected protect these treasures from thieves, the second scandal was less predictable.

A thousand year-old porcelain masterpiece was broken by a researcher during tests he was conducting in July. The museum covered-up the accident for almost a month, until it was exposed by an Internet user.

Facing rising criticism, the director admitted that a human mistake was to blame for the accident and apologized for not informing the public in time. He said July's accident is the third caused by staff members in recent years. But Zheng denied reports that in late July, a wooden screen dating from the Qing Dynasty was damaged by water.

The museum is also accused of running an exclusive club in one of the palaces, and that Palace employees have misused funds. Zheng pledged to enhance supervision over its commercial partner running the club, and ensure transparency.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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