HK Palace Museum showcases nation's cultural treasures

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HK Palace Museum showcases nation's cultural treasures
Visitors admire a white-glazed ceramic pillow featuring a boy lying on a couch, a rare artifact dating to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

New institution hosts 900 items on loan from its Beijing counterpart

At the newly opened Hong Kong Palace Museum, a white-glazed ceramic pillow featuring a boy lying on a couch attracts countless visitors who marvel at its exquisite molding.

Dating to the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the artifact is a rare masterpiece that delighted numerous dignitaries in ancient times. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Emperor Qianlong (1711-99) even wrote many poems about it.

With more than 900 national treasures on loan from the Palace Museum of Beijing, the ceramic pillow is on display to mark the Hong Kong institution’s grand opening.

The museum opened just two days after Hong Kong celebrated the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland on July 1.

Before being flown to Hong Kong from Beijing, the treasures were meticulously packaged and preserved in wooden boxes with precise temperature and humidity controls. They also underwent a number of security and anti-pandemic checks before leaving the Chinese capital.

The items, ranging from paintings and bronzeware to embroidery, span the nation’s rich civilization and 5,000-year history. Some have never been on public display before.

The loan of the treasures to Hong Kong is also the largest since the Beijing Palace Museum was established in 1925.

After a planning and construction period of more than six years, the much-anticipated Hong Kong museum, which is situated in the West Kowloon Cultural District, opened to the public on July 3. Even though the arrival of a typhoon delayed the opening by a day, this failed to dampen enthusiasm among art lovers in the city.

Before the museum opened at 9 am, eager visitors lined up to view the treasures. Some residents even dressed in traditional Chinese clothing for the occasion.

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HK Palace Museum showcases nation's cultural treasures

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