How the death of the Qing Empire, China's last dynasty, gave life to the Palace Museum

China’s powerful dynasties were all but impregnable to outside influence for more than four millennia. But in the 19th century an inward-looking Chinese empire became master of its own destruction when the regime failed to reform and modernise. The imperial system collapsed at the start of the 20th century and the Forbidden City, which had been home to emperors since 1420 and housed the world’s greatest collection of art treasures, was turned over to the public and transformed into the Palace Museum

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