China to lend National Palace Museum historic artifacts, museum director says


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 - Page 3

China has agreed to lend art exhibits for a major joint exhibition in Taipei, the head of Taiwan’s top museum said yesterday.

National Palace Museum Director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) is to fly to Beijing today, the first such trip since 2009 when the chiefs of the museum and of Beijing’s Palace Museum made landmark exchange visits.

Feng will meet her Chinese counterpart, Shan Jixiang (單霽翔), to discuss the loan of more than 30 artifacts from the Beijing museum for the exhibition in Taipei in October.

“The Palace Museum in Beijing has agreed to our proposal for loaning artifacts,” she said.

The exhibition, which will also include some items from the Taipei museum, will feature the artistic tastes of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796).

“Hopefully the cooperation between the two museums will be further enhanced through the visit, following the 2009 ice-breaking exchange of visits by the curators of the two sides,” Feng said.

The 2009 visits resulted in the loan of 37 works from the Chinese museum to the National Palace Museum later that year for the first joint exhibition by the two museums.

However, the Taipei museum still has no plans to lend any of its artifacts, which were originally shipped from China, fearing they would not be returned, Feng said.

The Taipei museum boasts more than 655,000 Chinese artifacts spanning 7,000 years from the prehistoric Neolithic period to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.

They were removed from the Beijing museum in the 1930s by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to prevent them falling into the hands of invading Japanese troops.

The collection was transported to Taiwan by KMT authorities more than 60 years ago after they were defeated by communist forces.