Looking beyond the treasures

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-05-10 08:40:44

Looking beyond the treasures

A display of the Palace Museum's latest achievements in academic studies. Wang Kaihao / China Daily

The Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, wants to prove it's not only one of the country's top exhibition venues for cultural relics but also a leading institution for academic studies.

With this in mind, the museum announced its recent major academic achievements in Beijing last week.

It recently released a 20-volume compendium of furniture from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties that included 2,000 articles housed in the museum.

"It's a milestone because no other published works so comprehensively detail the techniques used to produce furniture for the royal family," says Zheng Xinmiao, head of the research institution under the museum.

The Forbidden City was China's royal palace from 1420 to 1911.

Its research institute has published more than 100 scholarly books on a vast array of subjects since it was founded in October 2013. The main fields include imperial history, categorizing ancient files, the royal families' fine art collections and Buddhist history.

"Publishing scholarly works can influence other dimensions of the museum's operations," says Zheng.

"It can, for instance, offer reference material for exhibitions."

A series of books on the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC) oracle bones housed in the museum is also being published.

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