Mon, Apr 06, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Students object to China-made museum souvenirs

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A student group yesterday protested against the National Palace Museum (NPM) for selling reproductions — including of the famed Jadeite Cabbage — made in China.

The students, wearing T-shirts that read “I Love MIT” (Made in Taiwan), slashed reproductions of the Jadeite Cabbage with kitchen knifes in front of the museum, to show their disapproval of the museum selling Chinese-made products.

“During the economic recession, the government should promote local industry instead of importing products from China,” student Huang Hsin-che (黃鑫哲) said.

Reproductions of the Jadeite Cabbage were put back on museum store shelves on Friday after being relabeled to “better reflect the truth,” a museum official said. The souvenirs featuring the cabbage design have now been given a “Designed in Taiwan” label to go along with the original “Made in China” on the product’s packaging.

The museum withdrew the souvenirs for relabeling after lawmakers protested that the “Made in China” label on a souvenir popular with Chinese tourists was not only ironic but harmed Taiwan’s image.

However, protesters yesterday said the museum should sell reproductions made in Taiwan and despite museum guards and police asking them to leave the site distributed leaflets calling for visitors not to buy China-made reproductions.

Museum deputy director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) said last week in the legislature that the museum sells more than 2,000 types of souvenirs or reproductions of its collection, of which 81 are related to the famous jade carving from the Qing Dynasty. All 81 souvenirs related to the cabbage carving were designed in Taiwan, but four were manufactured in China.

Hsieh Yu-ming (謝宇明), chairman of a porcelain and pottery industry association of Yingge Township (鶯歌), Taipei County, said last week that Taiwan’s porcelain and pottery industry has been hard hit by imports of cheap Chinese products. He said however Taiwan’s products are much more delicate that those of China, and called for the museum to consider the quality of the souvenirs, not only the price.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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