Museum orders HK$1 million display case and braces for 24-hour viewing of Song dynasty scroll and reproduction China's most famous and important painting is to be displayed in Hong Kong as part of a unique show to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the handover. Qingming Shang He Tu, a priceless national treasure better known as Life along the Bian River at the Pure Brightness Festival, was painted nearly 1,000 years ago by Zhang Zeduan during the Song dynasty. Organisers at the Museum of Art in Tsim Sha Tsui expect to break all attendance records and say it may stay open around the clock. The fragile work will be placed in a glass case being custom-built in England for about HK$1 million to allow visitors to get close enough to appreciate its meticulous detail. The painting will be displayed for about two weeks in late June. A reproduced Ming dynasty version, a priceless work in its own right, will be shown for two weeks immediately afterwards. Dozens of other major Chinese paintings will be flown in. All the works are from the Palace Museum in Beijing, part of the Forbidden City. The hand scroll is more than 5 metres wide and depicts bustling scenes along the Bian River and around the East Corner Gate of Bianjing, capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). It offers glimpses of the lives of rich and poor, various economic activities, and costumes and architecture of the period. It will be the first, and probably last, time the two most important Chinese works have been shown together. The Song original is not kept on public display and was last exhibited five years ago in Shanghai. 'I do not think there will be another such opportunity to see these works in future,' said a source familiar with the event. So many people are expected to visit the show, with many tourists likely to fly in specially, that crowd control measures are likely. 'We want to cater to as many visitors as possible. We are likely to have online and telephone ticket booking to reduce the queue at the front door,' the source said. 'And if the response is really overwhelming, the museum could be open 24 hours a day.' Explaining the viewing arrangements, he said: 'We want visitors to have a close and careful look at this top national treasure. The cabinet should be able to withstand a lot of weight and allow people to put their hands on it.' Museum officials from Beijing arrived in Hong Kong last week to discuss arrangements for the show. The source said security and insurance issues still had to be resolved. An exhibition of French Impressionist paintings in 2005 drew more than 284,000 visitors. Government officials will announce details of handover celebrations later this month. Other events include a top-level soccer match and fireworks.