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Palace Museum to open female section | Updated: 2013-12-09 10:17

Palace Museum to open female section

The Palace of Benevolent Peace (Cining Gong) used to be the living area for empress dowager Cixi. After 1687, when empress dowager Xiaozhuang died, it was used for ceremonies until the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). [Photo by Xu Jingxing/ China Daily]

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Director of the Palace Museum Shan Jixiang announced on December 8 that by the year 2020, which will mark the 600th birthday of the Palace Museum, the area available to the public will reach 76 percent. At that time, the overall relic restoration project of the imperial palace will be finished, and the western part of the palace which was resided mainly by the royal females will be open to the public.

According to Shan, when the Palace Museum started its renovation in 2002, the open area consisted of about 30 percent, now it’s at 52 percent, with an expected 76 percent to be opened in eight years.

"The Western part of the Palace Museum was called the ‘female world’ in the past as it was the residential area of empresses and concubines, the area is mysterious to the outside world and has never been opened to the public since the museum’s establishment 88 years ago,” said Shan, “women who lived in the court had sufficient time, hence the area is mainly occupied by gardens and temples.”

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