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China to build new “palace museum” to showcase its past

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016,17:10 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Beijing | China plans to build a new and bigger “palace museum” here to showcase more collections of the Forbidden City, the home of successive Chinese emperors which attracts millions of tourists every year.

Shan Jixiang, the curator of the Palace Museum in Beijing, said at the International Smart Tourism Conference 2016 in Hangzhou decided that the new museum will be located 25 kms from the Forbidden City, north of the Old Summer Palace and south of the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs Reservoir, the China News Service reported today.

Currently, the biggest problem for the Forbidden City is that it cannot display majority of its collections, Shan said, adding that only some 20 per cent of the collections of the world’s biggest museum and 0.5 per cent of about 1.8 million antiques of the Forbidden City can be displayed to the public, despite some 80 exhibitions it holds annually.

Li Mingde, vice president of the Beijing Tourism Society, told state-run Global Times that the Forbidden City houses abundant collections.

However, almost 80 per cent of the tourists visit the Forbidden City to see the buildings instead of the collections.

“Therefore, if the museum exhibits too many collections in the halls, it will distract tourists from appreciating the architecture,” said Li, adding that the Forbidden City is creating more space for exhibition by removing unnecessary constructions.

The new museum will occupy an area of 125,000 square meters during the first phase of construction, said the report, adding that a large number of collections will be exhibited afterwards.

In addition, more collections of the Forbidden City will undergo restoration.

The Forbidden City has built a digital museum to help tourists learn about its collections.

A click on the screen can show the audience the history and status of a certain building, and tourists can also copy famous calligraphies with the help of the technology.

Some 76 per cent of the buildings and exhibition area in the Forbidden City are open to the public, and the percentage will reach 85 by 2020.

The Forbidden City attracts more than 15 million visitors annually.

In 2015, it started to restrict the number of visitors to no more than 80,000 per day to reduce pressure on its facilities and staff.