Beijing’s Palace Museum gained record attendance in 2016 as visitors numbers reached 16 million. This represents an increase of 6.19% on the number for 2015.
The Palace Museum is housed in The Forbidden City in the centre of Beijing. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace between the years 1420 to 1912. This period covered the period from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty.
The Collection of the Palace Museum
The museum’s collection is vast. It includes ceramics, bronzeware, painting and jade together with artefacts from the imperial court. Over 50, 000 paintings feature in the collection, as do 340, 000 pieces of ceramic and porcelin. There are also around 10, 000 items in the bronze collection and over a thousand timepieces.
In addition, there are 30, 000 pieces of jade, which has a unique place in Chinese culture.
In total, the Palace Museum’s permanent collection is made up of over a million unique and valuable works of art. An inventory of the collection, conducted between 2004 and 2010, put the total at 1, 807, 558 individual artefacts. This figure included 1, 684, 490 items designated as nationally protected “valuable cultural relics.”
A Replica in Hong Kong
Over 15 million people have visited the museum since 2012. The growing number of visitors do of course present some challenges in terms of infrastructure and of course impact the visitor experience. As a result, in June, the museum initiated a cap on daily visitors, limiting these to 80, 000 a day.
During the museum’s off-peak season, between Nov 1 and March 31, it also held a number of events to which admission was free.
It was recently revealed that Hong Kong had agreed a HK$3.5 billion deal with Beijing to create a replica of the Beijing’s Palace Museum. This will be called the Hong Kong Palace Museum and will be in the city’s West Kowloon Cultural District.
Image credit: Xuan Che Flick cc