Tue, Dec 29, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma, Jackie Chan inaugurate NPM southern branch

Staff writer, with CNA

A ceremony was held at the southern branch of the National Palace Museum (NPM) in Chiayi County yesterday for its soft opening with the attendance of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan (成龍) and NPM Director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠).

During the six-month soft opening period, the museum is to be open only to visitors who schedule appointments in advance. Appointments for all of next month are already fully booked, while registration for visits in February is to begin on Jan. 20, the museum administration said.

Ma thanked those who were involved in the establishment of the branch, which was first envisioned 15 years ago.

Ma said the opening of the southern branch was the best birthday present for the NPM, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The museum was originally established in Beijing in 1925 to showcase Qing Dynasty imperial collections.

The collections including more than 600,000 artifacts and artworks were moved to Taiwan in 1948 and 1949 during the Chinese Civil War, and were first displayed to the public in Taipei in 1965 after a new building was completed in Taipei’s Waishuangxi (外雙溪).

Ma said he hoped the Cabinet would review coordination, planning and division of labor among governmental agencies to avoid similar delays in other projects.

Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠) said Chiayi residents have waited for this day for more than 10 years, becoming even more determined over that period to make art and culture the focus of development in the county.

The museum’s 10 exhibitions showcase a variety of Asian textiles, Buddhist art, Imari porcelain wares from Japan, South Asian costumes, Asian tea culture, Islamic carved jades, Goryeo Celadon ceramic wares from South Korea, blue and white Ming Dynasty porcelain, the history of Chiayi and a multimedia introduction to Asian art.

Branded as a “museum of Asian art and culture,” the 70-hectare facility is to collect, research, preserve and exhibit artifacts and relics from across Asia.

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