The Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, has held several live stream guided tours which attracted millions of views.
The Palace Museum closed on January 25 as coronavirus forced closures all over China. Since it is still closed, the museum turned to the internet to provide remote access to the popular museum to celebrate its 600th anniversary.
There were three tours broadcast on Sunday 5 April and Monday 6 April on several platforms. These included CCTV News, Xinhuanet, People’s Daily and Tencent News.
An unprecedented number of views
According to Shine, Monday’s tour on Xinhuanet’s live-streaming service attracted more than 34 million views.
The different live-streamed tours took different routes around the Palace Museum. Two reseachers from the museum became tour guides, disclosing secrets and stories about the site. CGTN reports that the broadcast recieved over 10 million views on CCTV news.
Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, was full of hashtags about the live streams. #FirstLiveofPalaceMuseum2020 gained over 100 million views.
Curator Wang Xudong said that this live streaming is the first event of its kind from the Palace Museum. In a video message Xudong said that these tours show the beauty of Chinese culture and architects to people around the country.
The Palace Museum recently partnered with Huawei to build a smart network of 5G throughout the museum. Huawei will also use AI to help with the management, safety and preservation of artefacts.
As museums around the world close because of the coronavirus pandemic, many of them are turning to the internet to stay connected with visitors. Many museums have virtual tours or exhibitions, such as the Guggenheim and the Pergamon Museum.