April 18, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Hong Kong Palace Museum opens with forbidden treasures

The Nepal Weekly
July 4, 2022

Beijing’s Palace Museum, located in the heart of the Forbidden City, consists of the world’s largest collection of Chinese art, spanning around 5,000 years of history. Now, more than 900 of those treasures are on display at the new Hong Kong Palace Museum — a “gift” from the central government to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from UK to China.

While there’s nothing overtly political within its collection — by modern standards, at least — the museum sparked controversy when it was first announced by Hong Kong’s outgoing leader Carrie Lam in late 2016, partly due to the apparent lack of public consultation before the project was green-lit.

The Palace Museum’s long-term loan, which comprises rare paintings, calligraphic works, ceramics, jade and more from its 1.8 million-strong collection, is “unprecedented at every level,” remarks Hong Kong museum’s chairman Bernard Chan.

“This is the first time ever that large quantities of these national treasures are being taken out … to another cultural institution, so you can imagine the complexity behind it,” he adds, citing challenges around transportation, security and insurance, the latter of which took a conglomerate of around 100 insurance companies from around the world to resolve.