NPM to exhibit in Austria

DPA. TAIPEI

Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 2

The National Palace Museum (NPM) will hold an exhibition in Austria in 2008, a museum official said yesterday.

The agreement came after long negotiations to convince Vienna to promise to return the treasures to Taipei, instead of to Beijing.

"It took us two years to get Austria to sign the Law of the Guarantee Return. The [museum] has sent its treasures abroad only a few times, and only after foreign countries sign an agreement promising to return the exhibits to Taiwan," said Su Ching-feng (蘇慶豐), head of the museum's Public Relations Office.

Under an agreement reached between the museum and Austria's Cultural History Museum, the Austrians will hold an exhibition in Taipei from September to November next year, and the National Palace Museum will hold an exhibition in Austria in 2008.

The Austrian exhibition will display artifacts from the period under the Habsburg rule (the 13th to 19th century).

The National Palace Museum's exhibition will run in Vienna from February through April in 2008. It will feature more than 100 artifacts from the period of Emperor Qianlong (乾隆) of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1796).

Fearing that that China might seize the artifacts, Taiwan has allowed the museum to send its treasures abroad only a few times.