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Beijing’s Palace Museum sees record attendance in 2017

The courtyard of Beijing's Palace Museum

The Palace Museum received record attendance with nearly 16.7 million visitors in 2017, a 4.3% increase on the previous year.

Located in the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Palace Museum opened to the public in 1925. It has averaged more than 15 million visitors since 2012 and topped 16 million for the first time in 2016.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was the imperial palace of China’s emperors from 1420 under the Ming dynasty until the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912. The museum’s collection includes artefacts from the imperial court as well as ceramics, bronzeware, paintings and jade items.

An inventory of the collection completed in 2010 put the total number of artefacts at 1,807,558. More than 1.6 million of these were designated as nationally protected “valuable cultural relics”.

Opening new floor space

Director of the Palace Museum, Shan Jixiang, told GBTimes that the museum will open a further 51,000 square metres of floor space by 2020. The extra space will bring the total open area of the museum up to 85% with the new area to be dedicated to ancient architecture. Security and monitoring systems will also be updated during this time.

Discovering the Hall of Mental Cultivation: A Digital Experience exhibition at Beijing's Palace Museum
Discovering the Hall of Mental Cultivation: A Digital Experience exhibition at Beijing’s Palace Museum.

The museum opened two new exhibitions in 2017, starting with We All Live in the Forbidden City in July. It ran until October and taught children about the museum’s history and the traditional culture of China using display panels, 3D models and multimedia features.

Discovering the Hall of Mental Cultivation: A Digital Experience ran from October to the end of November. The exhibition commemorated the 92nd anniversary of the establishment of the museum. It used a “mini-program” on social media platform WeChat to allow for self-guided tours of the exhibition. Users received points as they moved through the different sections and were then assigned the identity of a character at the end based on the points they accrued.

Images: The Palace Museum.

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Sam McCaffrey

Journalist. Likes immersive entertainment experiences, museums, zoos and the odd go on a Waltzer.

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