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Beijing's Palace Museum counts collection


04-01-2017 09:56 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

It's one thing to count your blessings, or sheep -  and quite another to count the items in a museum's collection. But here in Beijing, The Palace Museum  - also known as the Forbidden City - has finished doing just that. It took the museum staff seven years to count the 1.86 million items in its archives -- all of them precious. Take a look.

The count reveals an increase of 62-thousand items from the total recorded in 2010 when research work began. Among the nearly two million items, 168 thousand rank as valuable cultural relics at the national level, accounting for 42 percent of the total in all of China's museums.

Most of the items belong to the catalogues of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong's handwritings, oracle bones from the Yin Dynasty's Ruins, and ceramic samples.

"The counting and clearance in the past seven years is the most complete and comprehensive of its kind in the Palace Museum's history. We have checked balances in 231 catalogues. The number of the items could see a further increase. For instance, it will take another two years to finish checking all the 23 thousand pieces of oracle bones," Shan Jixiang, curator with Palace Museum said.

The curator added that some of the relics have been repaired. Some scattered parts of ancient wood wares have been reassembled. Within the next 10 to 15 years, the museum plans to release a complete catalogue in 500 volumes.

Located in the heart of Beijing, the Palace Museum is historically and artistically one of the most comprehensive museums in China. Built in 1420, it was home to many of China's emperors and the highest center of power for about 500 years. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

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