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Crossover: Challenges facing the Palace Museum

07-09-2012 21:30 BJT

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The Palace Museum, known by many as the Forbidden City, has just finished taking stock of exhibited items. By the end of this year, visitors will be able to view over 1.8 million items from collections on its official website. Full Story>>

For more on the Forbidden City's artifact collections and the challenges it faces, we're joined by my colleague, Li Kefu, in the studio.

Q1: Tell us more about the Forbidden City's collections, what numbers are involved?

A1: Since 2004, The Palace Museum, which is in charge of all of the artifact collections at the Forbidden City, has been painstakingly classifying each item. As of 2010, the Palace Museum's collection totaled more than 1.8 million artifacts. They range from the Neolithic Age to the end of the Qing Dynasty. The museum's collection volume makes the Palace Museum one of the largest museums in the world. Over ninety percent of the collections, totaling nearly 1.7 million items (1,684,490), are considered "rare". These are the most accurate figures to date. The Palace Museum says it’s going to publish the collection categories.

Q2: The Palace Museum is on its way to becoming one of the top-tier museums of the world, what are the challenges facing it?

A2: Compared with the world's top tier museums, such as the British Museum in London, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, challenges still face The Palace Museum, particularly over its management. China's media has reported that some of the artifacts have been damaged due to staff negligence and out-dated storage facilities. There's also been strong criticism over the museum’s loose security. In May 2011, 7 items were stolen from the Palace Museum, reportedly totaling 1 billion yuan in value. The museum is also under criticism for turning part of its buildings and gardens into a private club. The museum has responded by saying it will improve preservation work to protect the country's most precious artifacts.

 

Editor:Bai Yang |Source: CNTV.CN

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