Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 4 News List

PRC court rules againsthalting exhibit on Pu Yi


A Chinese court has ruled against the family of the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, saying a Forbidden City photo exhibit of Pu Yi (溥儀) does not violate copy-right laws, state press reported on Monday.

In an appeal hearing, a Beijing court upheld an earlier verdict that the life of Pu Yi (1906-1967) was closely intertwined with recent Chinese history and therefore part of the public domain, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pu Yi's younger brother, Pu Ren (溥任), 88, had filed the suit earlier this year after seeing the exhibit in the Forbidden City, the former imperial palace of the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties in Beijing.

The exhibit has run for six years, the report said.

As the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi's downfall from emperor to citizen was full of tragedy and upheaval. It was popularized by the 1987 film The Last Emperor by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci.

Pu Yi ascended the throne in 1908 as a baby and abdicated three years later when the dynasty collapsed. Besides an attempt by invading Japanese armies to install him as the puppet emperor of the short-lived kingdom of Manchukuo during World War II, he spent numerous years in jail after the communists came to power.

Pu Ren's lawsuit maintained that the exhibit had violated the rights of the deceased and hurt the family as well as infringing upon his own rights to use the last emperor's image, Xinhua said.

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