Journeying inside the walls of the Forbidden City

( ) Updated: 2014-05-28 15:00:48

Journeying inside the walls of the Forbidden City

Palace Museum, home to many 'mosts' and 'firsts' 

Journeying inside the walls of the Forbidden City

10 little known facts of the Palace Museum 

Journeying inside the walls of the Forbidden City

Souvenirs that carry the Palace Museum spirit 

"Museums in the west were established very early on. They have been part of people's lives for many generations. We have only been around for over 100 years so China is still in the developmental phase. But we are growing very fast, there's a new museum established every 2 days. Our understanding of museums have also been changing. Museums don't just simply provide a place to preserve historical artifacts but it's also an institution for research and cultural education." Shan Jixiang said.

"I know that by 2015, the country is planning to built around 3000 museums. That's a lot but I feel that what's important to people are the details and how they can relate to stories and the history itself." Fei Ye said.

"When people walk out of the museum they will only find a couple artifacts that are very memorable so we need to further develop the stories behind each piece. We have made great progress in many areas. We have the world's most sophisticated audio guides. Many of the best museums around the world only have 10 to 12 langauges and some didn't even have Chinese until recently. But we provide 40 languages covering many dialects. We are also able to adjust the story telling of the audio guides according to each person, for example for children, scholars, and for the general public. It's been really well received." Shan Jixiang said.

"What kind of international exchanges have you had before and how important is it?" Fei Ye asked.

"We have had collaborations with the Metropolitan museum, the British museum and the Louvre. Last year we also signed a deal with the International Council of Museums to establish an international training center at the Palace Museum. We have taken the responsibility for training museum curators and to provide highly skilled personnel for the world's leading museums." Shan Jixiang said.

"What's your longterm vision for the museum? What's your next 5 year plan?" Fei Ye asked.

"We have a saying that we should pass the well preserved Forbidden City to the next 600 years. Why 600 years? Well, because it was built in 1420 and by 2020 the Forbidden City is going to celebrate its 600th birthday. That's when two of our major projects will be finished. One is the 18 year long restoration of the palace buildings, which will allow visitors to access 76 percent of the Forbidden City. The other one is to fireproof and earthquake proof the palace and improve our security system. This way we can provide a much safer, better and enhanced environment for everyone." Shan Jixiang said.

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