BEIJING — The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, will open more areas to the public ahead of its 90th anniversary, which is on Oct 10, 2015, said museum curator Shan Jixiang in the night of Dec 9.
The renovation of the Yanchi House at the Meridian Gate is expected to be completed in May next year, which will be turned into a 2,800-square-meter exhibition hall to display world cultural relics.
In fact, the exhibition space is already booked-up through 2017, with museums across the world contacting the Palace Museum to register their interest.
Shan said the first exhibition in the hall would be for the 90th anniversary and that more than 80 percent of the items on display have never been seen by the public before.
In addition, the western area of the palace, where the imperial women lived, will be open to the public for the first time, with the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility, where the Empresses lived, will become a sculpture exhibition hall. Of the Palace Museum’s 10,200 sculptures, 400 will be displayed initially.
The East Prosperity Gate, a former warehouse, will become a hall to display 4,900 examples of China’s architectural prowess.
Duan Men, the southern-end main entrance, will display digital cultural items produced by the Palace Museum.
The Palace of Prolonging Happiness, a group of western-style buildings, will host foreign cultural relics.
Located in the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City was home to China’s emperors and was the highest center of power from 1420 to 1911. It attracts more than 15 million visitors annually.