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Forbidden City collections expect cross-Strait reunion
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21:45, September 22, 2009

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Collections from the Chinese emperors are set for a reunion across the Taiwan Strait after they were separated during the civil war six decades ago.

Deputy Director of the Palace Museum in Beijing Li Ji sealed 37items of the royal collections in boxes, with Feng Ming-Chu, deputy director of the "National Palace Museum" of Taiwan at a press conference here Tuesday.

The collections will be sent off to Taiwan for an exhibition about Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) held by the Taipei's "National Palace Museum" from Oct. 7 to Jan. 10 next year.

They will be displayed with 209 items of royal collections owned by the museum in Taiwan.

This will be the first reunion of royal collections across the Taiwan Strait after the then Kuomintang (KMT) government shipped 2,971 boxes of about 600,000 items from the former Imperial Palace ,or the Forbidden City, in 1949 at the end of the civil war.

The royal collections to travel to Taiwan include portraits of Emperor Yongzheng and his mistresses, as well as an appliance used by the royal family.

"They were outstanding artworks among our collections in the reign of Emperor Yongzheng," Li said. "We send the best we have, which could be more valuable than many items shipped to Taiwan."

The occasion reminded Li what happened 60 years ago. "The Palace Museum still kept some wooden boxes used to ship the treasures 60 years ago," he said. "Things changed as time passed. Today we are sending them for reunion."

The expecting joint exhibition is a result of hard work from both sides, Feng said.

"The cooperation and exchanges between the two museums progressed very fast. What we did in the past six months was what we should have done in the past six decades," she said.

The first cooperation between the two museums before was in 1992 when they both collaborated with a Hong Kong-based publisher on the book, "The Best of National Treasures" about their collections.

A delegation from the "National Palace Museum" headed by Director Chou Kung-shin made the first ever visit to Beijing in February and their mainland counterparts returned the visit in March.

Both sides agreed to speed up cooperation. They reached agreements to hold exchange visits between July to mid-September every year and exchange personnel for know-how and research projects.

Based on the agreements by both sides, they will not release the date when the royal collections will be shipped to Taipei, Li said.

Source: Xinhua

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