The National Palace Museum has recently come under the political spotlight amid charges that it is trying to minimize Chinese influence despite its backbone being arts from ancient China.
Critics said the move reflects the wishes of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to seek a "Taiwanese identity" by erasing cultural and historical links with China and push for independence.
The museum's director Lin Mun-lee (林曼麗) refutes the accusations.
"There is no need for the National Palace Museum to rid itself from its Chinese roots and I think this is a misunderstanding," she told a media briefing earlier this week.
"History and charter are two different things. History cannot be changed because facts are facts," she said, adding that the old charter dated back two decades and so no longer suited a modern museum.
The DPP faced similar charges in recent years when it decided to remove Chinese history and geography from tests for civil servants and unveiled plans to reduce Chinese classics lessons in high schools.
At the height of the war in 1948, the KMT began relocating the treasures from the former imperial palace in Beijing to Taiwan, and then fled there a year later.
Today the 81-year-old museum is a national landmark and one of Taiwan's major tourist attractions, with more than 655,000 ancient Chinese artefacts spanning some 7,000 years of history.
Lingering hostility between Beijing and Taipei has made Taiwan wary about exhibiting the museum's prized collections overseas because of concerns that China might lodge claims to the objects.
In recent years, the museum has only staged exhibitions in the US, France and Germany on condition that the host nations passed relevant legislation protecting Taiwan against any such claims from Beijing.
Next week, several Chinese scholars will come to Taipei to participate in a symposium on Northern Song dynasty arts and culture as part the museum's grand reopening festivities.
Their visit highlights the irony facing scholars of Chinese antiquities and dynastic arts, as they must to travel to Taiwan to glimpse the riches of China's past.
Nevertheless, director Lin has always stressed the legitimacy of Taiwan's claim to the priceless collection of artefacts.
"These treasures came to Taiwan decades ago under the special circumstances of that time," Lin said. "Taiwan has performed well its duties to preserve them from being destroyed by war."
"I don't think it is illegitimate for Taiwan [to keep the artefacts.] Some people have the wrong conception that the artefacts should return to China," she added.
also see story:
National Palace Museum is born again
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time