China: Around The Nation

Forbidden City opens Fujian branch to display Western treasures

Palace museum extension shows off part of its collection of about 13,000 foreign artefacts

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 8:34pm

The Forbidden City in Beijing has opened a museum in southeastern China to display some of its foreign cultural treasures, China News Service reported.

The facility, which opened last Saturday on Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, Fujian province, is the first branch of the former imperial residence, also known as the Palace Museum, outside of Beijing.

The museum also released a list of its foreign collection, which comprises some 13,000 artefacts in 11 categories, originating from Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, Austria, the US, Bulgaria, Japan and North Korea.

Most of them were collected by emperors from the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), with others bought from the public or donated by individuals.

The museum said the exhibits in Gulangyu would be changed every three to six months.

Shan Qixiang, director of the museum in Beijing, said it had some 1.8 million cultural artefacts, and only 1 per cent of them could be displayed at any one time due to a lack of space.

Among the foreign artefacts in the museum, 10 per cent are various kinds of clocks and watches.

A research department for foreign items would be established at the museum this year, Shan said, including a separate office for Western timepieces.