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Radical overhaul at Forbidden City?

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

08:42, September 20, 2012

In a bid to alleviate overcrowding at the Palace Museum in Beijing, a proposal has been made to remove all the cultural relics currently exhibited at the site to a new museum.

The Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference passed the proposal on Monday, which means it will be submitted to higher authorities for consideration, the Beijing Times reported.

The number of visitors to the Forbidden City, especially during public holidays, such as the upcoming October 1 National Day holiday, often exceeds 100,000 per day, the Legal Mirror reported in 2011.

The proposal suggests leaving the Forbidden City as a showcase of the imperial architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, while a new museum will be built to house the 1.8 million pieces of imperial artworks and artifacts.

In addition, it is suggested that new methods of managing the palace should be introduced to avoid possible damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, including limiting the number of visitors and adopting advanced booking methods.

Not all cultural relics experts agree with the proposal.

"I don't think it is a feasible way of easing the pressure, since the relocation will cost a lot of resources, including the financial cost, and it may pose safety dangers to those precious relics," said Liu Zheng, a member of the China Cultural Relics Association Wednesday.

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