Leading museums plan closer relations

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-10-16 07:20:39

Leading museums plan closer relations

The Palace Museum in Beijing [Photo/Xinhua]

Major museums around the world agreed on Thursday to work closer together to improve urban cultural development and face the challenges posed by new technology at the first Forbidden City Forum in Beijing.

Curators, directors and other museum professionals from up to 20 countries, including France, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, came up with a broad agreement of cooperation.

The two-day event was held at the Palace Museum, which is also known as the Forbidden City, and ended with the signing of a declaration of principles.

"We seek to uphold the principle of harmonious development, integrating museums into society by entering people's daily lives," the Forbidden City Declaration said. "We must adhere to the principle to enhance cross-border cooperation, cross-region interaction (and) cross-cultural communication."

Representatives from the British Museum in London, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Guimet Museum in Paris and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg were part of the group that participated in the forum.

"The declaration is a very important document," Mikhail Piotrovski, director of the State Hermitage Museum in the Russian city of St Petersburg, said. "We're ready to come back to discuss our next goals in practice. This time, the traditional Chinese idea of harmony makes very good sense for our future development."

One key area that was discussed was the role of new technology in attracting a new generation to museums.

"During the forum, some museum directors revealed their concern that digital technology will affect museums and attendances will decline," Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum, said. "But we also discussed ways of using technology while avoiding gimmicks," he added.

According to Shan, the Forbidden City Forum will be held every five years in the future at the Palace Museum.

"The forum is a wonderful Chinese initiative for the international museum community," said Hans-Martin Hinz, president of International Council of Museum based in Paris.


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