The opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum on the 25th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty is fitting. Exhibitions of more than 900 objects on loan from its namesake in Beijing, artworks from the Louvre in Paris, items from local collections and pieces from its own holdings highlight the advantages of “one country, two systems”. The governance model enables smooth cultural exchanges between the mainland, the special administrative region and the wider world. Being able to see national treasures first-hand heightens appreciation of heritage and tradition, while providing a means to strengthen education and community engagement, and cross-border and overseas cooperation. This is what President Xi Jinping envisaged when overseeing the signing of the collaboration agreement between the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Palace Museum during his previous visit to the city five years ago. His presence was evidence of a deep caring for Hong Kong’s arts and cultural development. The deal set in motion planning for the museum, and a donation of HK$3.5 billion from the Jockey Club ensured swift construction. Joining the M+ museum of visual culture and Xiqu Centre for Chinese opera on the West Kowloon waterfront, it opens today. Artefacts showcasing 5,000 years of Chinese culture, among the finest collections of Beijing’s Palace Museum, take pride of place. They represent the largest such loan from the nation’s premier museum, and the insight they give into Chinese history and craftsmanship are testament to China’s rich heritage and culture. Hong Kong is a worthy location to host the third Palace Museum after Beijing and Taipei. Highlights from the Hong Kong Palace Museum and how it came to fruition Hong Kong was a safe haven for Chinese artefacts in the unstable period before and after the communist takeover of China in 1949. Those fleeing the mainland brought family heirlooms and other treasures to the city, then under British rule. World-class private collections were assembled and Hong Kong earned a reputation as an international hub for rare, important and exceptional art and antiques, attracting auction houses. Fortunately, the city also has collectors who have pride in their nation. Generous donations have been made to a number of institutions and some of those items along with the first batch given to the Hong Kong Palace Museum are on display. Local knowledge and support have helped with the curating of objects, and the city has a museum of which it can be proud. But its worth is far more than just an attraction; it will raise Hongkongers’ interest in Chinese culture and traditions while lifting historical awareness. That is precisely what Hongkongers need as the next 25 years begin.