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The International Press Center (IPC) Organizes a Report Trip to the Palace Museum for Foreign Correspondents in Beijing

On October 28, 2004, the International Press Center (IPC) of the Foreign Ministry organized a trip to the Palace Museum for foreign correspondents in Beijing to report and photograph the repair project of the Imperial Palace. Altogether 48 correspondents with 31 news agencies from 11 countries took part in the tour which was headed by Deputy Director-General Liu Jianchao of the Information Department.

Vice President Jin Hongkui of the Palace Museum, Director-General Gu Yucai of the Department of Cultural Relics Protection of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage as well as Deputy Director Kong Fanzhi of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics briefed the correspondents respectively on the situation of the repair of the Imperial Palace and China's efforts in cultural relics protection and took questions from them.

Vice President Jin Hongkui first gave an overview of the Palace Museum and the Project on the Comprehensive Repair of the Palace Museum.

While briefing on the ancient buildings of the Forbidden City and the Palace Museum, Jin Hongkui said, built from 1406 to 1420, the Imperial Palace witnessed the reign of 14 emperors in the Ming Dynasty and 10 more emperors in the Qing Dynasty. With a history of 584 years, the palace is home to the largest scale and the most complete architectural complex of ancient palaces. The Forbidden City of Ming and Qing Dynasties included the entire area encircled by the moat as well as Tian'anmen, the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Tai Miao) and the Altar of Land and Grain (Sheji Tan) surrounded by the Golden River (Jinshui He). The Forbidden City extends 970 meters from north to south and 750 meters from east to west. Enclosed by 10-meter walls, it occupies a land area of more than 1 million square meters. Each of the four sides is pierced by an exquisitely structured gate, namely, the Meridian Gate (Wu Men) on the south, the Gate of Spiritual Valor on the north, the Donghua Gate on the east and the Xihua Gate on the west.

The Forbidden City consists of an Inner Court and an Outer Court. The halls and palaces within the city spread out on either side of a north-south central axis symmetrically. Existing ancient buildings account for 167,000 square meters. Designated by the State Council as one of China's foremost protected monuments in 1961, the Palace Museum was also made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

In 1914, the Government of the Warlords (Beiyang) changed the Outer Court into the History Museum to display antiques to the public. Pu Yi was expelled from the Inner Court in 1924 and the following year witnessed the inception of the Palace Museum which was later taken over by the Nationalist Government in 1928. In 1948, the History Museum and the Palace Museum were combined into one.

Established on the foundation of the Royal Palaces of the Ming and Ting Dynasties (which was then called the Forbidden City) and their collections of treasures, the Palace Museum is a comprehensive national museum which highlights the royal history of the Ming and Ting Dynasties, palace buildings and ancient arts. Currently there are 1 million items (sets) of the cultural relics housed in the museum, accounting for 10 percent of the national total.

The Palace Museum opens every day. The display and exhibition layout is mainly composed of the display of historical relics of the royal palace and the exhibition of artistic creations over the dynasties. The former includes three halls, namely the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Dian) , the Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe Dian) and the Hall of Preserved Harmony (Baohe Dian), three palaces, namely the Palace of Celestial Purity (Qianqing Gong), the Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union (Jiaotai Dian) and the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility (Kunning Gong) as well as the Palace of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin Dian) and the 6 palaces to the east and to the west; the latter includes a painting gallery, a jewelry gallery, a clock gallery, a porcelain gallery, a bronze gallery and other temporary galleries. With 430,000 square meters open to the public, the museum receives more than 7 million visitors annually in the recent two years among which 1.2 million come from abroad and more than 40 are important state guests. The Palace Museum has become one of the symbols of the Chinese civilization.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, about 40 percent of the ancient buildings have been repaired or maintained, which have basically ensured the safety of the buildings and partly restored the historical sites.

While talking about the objectives and tasks of complete protection and comprehensive repair, Jin Hongkui said In November 2001, the State Council launched an initiative on the comprehensive repair of the Imperial Palace. The repair will be conducted in phases with 100 million RMB yuan invested each year. The project is to be fully completed by 2020 when the Forbidden City will witness its 600th anniversary. This comprehensive repair project is the largest of its kind since the founding of the People's Republic of China and even over the past century. Part of the efforts are of salvage nature. The repair of the Imperial Palace has to be in line with Cultural Relics Protection Law of the People's Republic of China and internationally recognized principles on the protection of cultural relics to ensure the genuineness and intactness of the palace so that it can be passed down over to future generations. We need to formulate macro guidelines on complete protection and overall repair in a bid to re-demonstrate the solemnity, sublimity and glory of the Imperial Palace in the prosperous periods of the feudal society. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace is also the largest museum in China with a history of 80 years. Several generations have devoted wholeheartedly to the protection of the palace and its holdings. How to advance the development of the museum while protecting the palace remains a formidable task for the new historical period. We need to strike a balance between long-term preservation of cultural heritage and scientific display and explore more channels for the coordinated development of the museum so as to give full play to the functionality of the Palace Museum. Therefore the Palace Museum initiated the Overall Plan for the Protection of the Imperial Palace which includes the following aspects:

(I) Readjusting the protection zoning

In accordance with the stipulations of the Cultural Relics Protection Law of the People's Republic of China, the protection areas and construction limited zones around the Imperial Palace, Royal History Library( Huangshi Cheng) were defined and their management regulations were disclosed in 1984 and 1994. The Protection Plan for the Imperial City in Beijing was again formulated in 2003. All these have provided legal assurance for the protection of the Imperial Palace. We suggest relevant departments of Beijing and the state further define and coordinate the protection zoning in light of the requirements on the protection of world cultural heritage.

(II) Readjusting the functional zoning of the Palace Museum. The planning survey points out a number of problems including the irrational utilization of cultural heritage, the failure of the exhibition to fully reveal the cultural connotation and value of the Palace Museum, the limited number of cultural relics and architecture open to visitors, the to-be-improved exhibition environment, and serious problems for the protection of some cultural relics, especially large relics left over by the imperial family, which have long been stored in ancient architectures without basic conservation conditions. In response to those problems, it is planned to readjust the functional zoning of the Palace Museum, which will expand the area of compounds open to visitors from the current 27.7 hectares to 44.7 hectares. Service areas will also be established in a uniform way to ensure high quality of services, and the storage management of cultural relics will be strengthened. Utilization of ancient architectures will be improved and the various administrative agencies scattering in the ancient buildings within the Museum will be removed, addressing the three major problems of protecting ancient architectures, improving the environment of the Palace Museum and realizing modern management.

(III) Improving the internal and external environment of the Palace Museum and fulfilling the protection project. At present there still remain a number of organizations which have no relations with the Museum at all occupy some ancient buildings within the Museum and use the buildings built in 1975 standing at the two sides of Xihua Gate, which seriously changes the historical environment of the Forbidden City and needs to be addressed comprehensively. The State Development Planning Commission of China has approved the project of building new offices of the First Historical Archives of China, one of those occupying organizations and demolishment of the old office building. Most of the infrastructures of the Palace Museum were constructed gradually over the past half century and face the problems of serious ageing and that security equipment and infrastructure can hardly meet the requirements of modern management and opening. Some even has had negative impact on the landscape of the Palace Museum. Therefore, the existing infrastructures must be repaired and upgraded and new ones, if necessary, must be built. According to the new functional zoning, a master plan should be developed for the non-cultural-relics architectures and stack yards within the Museum to clean up the overall environment. Various pipes and lines open in the air should be buried underground.

(IV) Completing the protection project of the Palace Museum. Damage caused by nature is a common problem faced by the ancient architectures within the Museum, which is particularly serious in areas closed to visitors. For example, the glazed roofing tiles of 61% of ancient buildings peel off seriously or fade due to pollution. The colorful paintings of exterior eaves of ancient buildings are generally timeworn, ramous or even peel off, and the interior decorations seriously damaged. More than 6,000 meters of white marble balustrade and large area of stone materials suffer from weathering. In response to those problems, the protection of the Palace Museum must strictly follow the principles and procedures of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics and take into consideration both repair and opening to visitors, protection and exhibition, ground architectures and infrastructure construction in an coordinated way.

The protection project must accomplish the following five major tasks:

1. Conserving the overall layout and completely improving the internal and external environment of the Palace Museum.

2. Protecting the ancient architectures within the Palace Museum comprehensively through rational utilization and proper technologies.

3. Improving and allocating the infrastructures in a systematic way.

4. Rationalizing the utilization of ancient buildings.

5. Enhancing the artistic taste of exhibits and improving the display and storage environment of cultural relics.

(V) The plan also outlines the task of formulating related specific planning, and the Palace Museum has made corresponding arrangements.

According to Jin Hongkui who introduced the project implementation since 2002, at present, eight projects under the large scale repair project of the Museum have started which include: (1) the Hall of Military Eminence area; (2) the tower of the Meridian Gate; (3) west flank of the Gate of Supreme Harmony and surrounding buildings; (4) the Hall of Central Harmony and surrounding buildings; (5) west flank of the three palaces in the inner court and surrounding buildings; (6) Qin'an Hall; (7) warehouse of costumes; (8) repair of the imperial tea house and kitchen. Currently a total area of 22,540 square meters within the Palace Museum is under repair, accounting for 14% of the total area. There are 13 construction, design and supervision organizations involved in the grand repair of the Palace Museum, composed of altogether 1,400 managerial staff, technicians, technical workers and ordinary workers. The materials used during the repair in recent period mainly include 2,700 square meters of timber of various kinds, 297,000 blue bricks produced in North China and 35460 blue bricks produced in South China, 591,100 glazed roofing tiles, 27,080 blue tiles and 1,000 ju (about 10,000,000 pieces) of thickening gold foil. All the projects have been implemented in accordance with the principles of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics and the procedures set in the laws and regulations on project management, putting emphasis on scientific and standardized management and guaranteeing the quality, security and time limit of projects.

Jin Hongkui also introduced the types of work in the repair of the Palace Museum.

(I) Protection of glazed roofing tiles. The roofs of the majority of ancient buildings within the Palace Museum are composed of glazed tiles, and the traditional repair method is to replace the broken and peeling glazed tiles with new ones. However, this time except those broken glazed tiles which must be replaced, the peeling tiles and decorations of the roof are "reglazed in kiln" and processed by macromolecule adhesives so as to maximize use of the original materials.

(II) Repair of large wooden items. Large wooden structure is the framework of ancient buildings. All the project implementation has been following the traditional methods to repair the original items and then install them in places where they originally were. At the same time those large wooden items which have become rotten and unable to sustain any weight are replaced with new ones. The front hall of the Hall of Military Eminence adopts the method of splicing and adding steel girder internally to replace the completely decayed crossbeam.

(III) Protection and repair of colored painting. In principle, all the colored painting drawn before 1911 should be protected, and the protective measures of those colored painting drawn between 1911 and 1924 should be determined in accordance with their values. Colored painting drawn after 1925 should be protected according to their value and completeness, and when necessary redrawn by using the traditional methods.

The Gecai Painting inside the Meridian Gate which was drawn in the early Qing Dynasty is protected through dust eliminating and chemical encapsulation.

The Gecai Painting outside the Meridian Gate which was drawn in the 1970s was damaged. It will be redrawn after the restoration design following the style of the mid Qianlong Reign of the Qing Dynasty is completed.

(IV)The pilot project on the protection of the interior decoration of Juanqin Zhai, a garden of Emperor Qianlong, is a cooperative project between the Palace Museum and the US World Cultural Heritage Foundation. Juanqin Zhai is a typical building in the Ningshou Palace Garden. It holds extremely valuable historical and cultural relics of which the interior Tongjing Painting and Ceiling Painting which are unique to the reign of Emperor Qianlong demonstrate the influence of western art on Chinese architecture. The painting vividly reflects the daily life of emperors of Qing dynasty and imperial culture. Since 2002 the research on protection of Juanqin Zhai has been accomplished, and the interior protection projects are well underway. Jin Hongkui also introduced the restoration project of the Jianfu Palace garden.

Then Gu Yucai, the Director-General of the Department of Cultural Relics Protection of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage introduced the policies of cultural relics protection in China and the protection achievements.

Gu Yucai said that China is a country with world-renowned ancient civilization. Over the long process of history, the industrious and brave Chinese people have created splendid and unique Chinese culture and built an extremely rich treasury of cultural relics. According to statistics, at present China has almost 400,000 unmovable cultural relics which are already registered, and about 12.6 million items of movable cultural relics are stored in state-owned museums. The administrative authorities classify those movable cultural relics stored in more than 2,000 museums nationwide into three grades according to their historical, scientific and artistic values and entitle them as rare cultural relics, differentiating them from the ordinary cultural relics stored in those museums. Currently China has about 53,000 grade-one cultural relics stored in museums. As to the unmovable cultural relics such as historical sites or ruins, China adopts a management system under which local governments at various levels designate the cultural relic sites. China now has 1,271 key national cultural relic sites, almost 7,000 key provincial cultural relics and 60,000 cultural relics at municipal and country levels. In addition, 102 cities with rich cultural relics, such as Beijing, Xi'an and Luoyang, are designated by the State Council as the national historical and cultural cities. 30 cultural and natural heritages including the Great Wall, the Palace Museum, the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor and the Potala Palace in Lhasa are named by UNESCO into the list of World Heritage, of which 26 are listed as world cultural heritages or incorporated into the list of both cultural and natural heritages.

When introducing the administrative management system concerning cultural relics in China, Gu Yucai noted that according to the basic principle of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics China adopts the system of managing cultural relics by the authorities of local places where the relics are located and defining responsibilities accordingly. Local governments at various levels undertake the responsibilities of protecting the cultural heritages within their own administrative jurisdictions and accept direction of the national cultural relics administrative authorities in terms of specific operations.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage is the administrative authority in charge of the management of national cultural relics and museums and undertakes the following major functions: studying and drawing principles, policies, laws and regulations and plans for promoting the development of cultural relics protection and museums, formulating related systems and rules and monitoring their implementation; guiding and coordinating the management, protection, rescue, excavation, research, exit and publicity of cultural relics; examining the qualification of key national cultural relic sites and submitting the result to the State Council for approval; taking charge of the examination of and application for historical and cultural city and world cultural heritage; examining and approving archeological excavation projects; guiding the construction of large museums and the coordination and exchanges among museums; formulating management system for the circulation of cultural relics; developing the budget for the protection of cultural relics and administering the foreign affairs concerning cultural relics and museum. At present the provincial governments and governments of municipalities directly under the central government as well as governments at municipal and country levels throughout the country have set up administrative agencies in charge of protection of cultural relics, and the governments of 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have established Cultural Relics Bureaus. There are altogether more than 3,700 protection agencies of cultural relics with more than 70,000 employees. The central government, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and the governments of some municipalities and counties also set up research institutes of cultural relics and archeology, research institutes of ancient architecture protection, museums, memorials and cultural relics custodial offices in charge of the survey, excavation, research and protection of cultural relics within their jurisdiction and the storage, maintenance, research and exhibition of stored cultural relics.

Gu Yucai then talked about the protection mechanism of cultural relics in China and fund investment. He said that following the principle of "management and appropriation at different levels", local governments at various levels incorporate the protection of cultural relics into their financial budget. The special allowance earmarked by the central government for the protection of cultural relics not only directly rescues a large number of rare historical and cultural heritages but also encourages local finance and social funds to participate in the protection undertakings. Currently the expenditures on protecting cultural relics have been increasing year by year. In 2003 the accumulative investment in cultural relics protection reached 1.05 billion RMB yuan, of which the central government invested 680 million.

When introducing China's main achievements in cultural relics conservation, Gu Yucai said that China upholds the 16-word principle of cultural relics protection, namely "taking preservation and rescue as priority, rational utilization and enhanced management", follows the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics and has scored remarkable achievements in the following areas. First, China strengthens and improves the legal system of cultural relics conservation. In October 2002 after hard work by various parities concerned, the revised Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics was published, in 2003 the State Council approved and began implementing the Regulation on Implementing the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics and one of the priorities in our future work is to supplement and improve regulations and administrative rules related to the Law. Second, grassroots work is further strengthened. Currently, efforts have been made nationwide to find out the statues quo of existing unmovable and movable cultural relics in China so as to understand the quantity, distribution and conservation conditions of our cultural relic resources in an all-round manner and we also plan to finish the "four haves, namely having organizations, having marks, having areas and having archives" of 1,271 key national cultural relic sites and the establishment of archives for grade-one cultural relics that are stored at the state level within 2-3 years. Third, we strengthen the conservation projects of cultural relics related to the key national construction programs. A large number of ancient and modern buildings are properly maintained and protected. The conditions for movable cultural relics to be stored and displayed in museums are further improved. A range of noticeable important discoveries are made in archaeological excavation. Fourth, we expand international cooperation and exchanges and enhance the influence and status of China's cultural relic conservation in the international arena. This year, we held the 28th Session of World Heritage Commission successfully in Suzhou. We have now established business contacts with over 20 countries.

Q: At present how many rooms are there in the Palace Museum? How many rooms are open to visitors? How about the storage of archives of the Museum? What are the references followed by the repair or restoration projects?

Jin Hongkui: It is rather difficult to decide the number of rooms within the Palace Museum. A traditional opinion in China is that four pillars form one room, so there has never been any complete statistics. Generally speaking, there are altogether more than 8,000 rooms. We have not calculated that how many rooms are open to visitors, and the data available now is that 277,000 square meters are open to visitors. The question concerning achieves of the Ming and Qing Dynasties is very a professional question. The protection and repair of cultural relics require complete documents, so during the process of repair we basically retain the original shape of cultural relics and repair them accordingly, which is our primary principle. Secondly, we also refer to a large number of historical literatures. For example, the restoration of Jianfu Palace garden which I mentioned earlier just follows historical literature. Before starting the project, we consulted a number of documents which contain 800,000 words altogether. Of course, it is regrettable that not every building has the original drawing. In our archives some buildings have their original drawing, but most have not. In addition, with the passage of time even the original drawings have totally different form from our design drawings. We have indeed made great efforts to consult archives, but it is impossible for us to find the archive for each building. Therefore, our major reference is the building itself. To consult historical archives and look for historical drawings are just one part of the huge preparations we have to make before starting the project. To that end, we have made an arrangement on this subject and invited many senior comrades to consult those documents in our archives and the National Library.

Q: Just now the issue of how to protect the cultural relics while achieving social and economic benefits is mentioned. I think that we can see many commercial activities going on in a number of cultural relics in China. There is even a coffee house within the Palace Museum. Such activities have certain impact on those cultural relics. Is there any concrete measure to address such negative impact of commercial activities on the protection of cultural relics?

Gu Yucai: Just now I introduced that China adopts the system of managing cultural relics by the authorities of local places where the relics are located. In general cultural relics are managed by the local governments and other authorities. Some are managed by the cultural relic authorities and others by the tourism authorities. We have also noticed the problem you pointed out. Such activities have indeed certain influence on the protection of cultural relics and heritages. Our major countermeasure at the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the national authority of cultural relics, is to require various localities to develop protection planning. In recent two years we have paid special attention to the formulation and implementation of the protection planning for significant historical architectural complex and some large historical sites. By such planning and the functional zoning of cultural relics which are open to visitors, taking the Palace Museum of Beijing introduced by Director Jin just now as an example, we will gradually concentrate the tourism facilities designed to serve the visitors which have nothing to do with the Palace Museum. Some will move to places outside the protection area. If any of you paid a visit to the Terracotta Warriors of the First Qin Emperor in Shanxi province recently, you would feel that great changes have taken place there in this regard. Some peddlers originally doing businesses in front of the Terracotta Warriors moved to the B district, and that place was turned into a green belt. Such planning should be formulated by the local governments and approved by the central government which will also provide financial support. For instance, this year about one sixth of the total expenditures for the protection of cultural relics of the state finance are used to formulate the planning. I believe that with our work advancing the protection of cultural relics in China will surely be further improved.

Q: Several years ago I visited the Huangshicheng (the Royal History Library) and found that it has become an art gallery inside, which is rather contradictory to the atmosphere of the Palace Museum. Now who is in charge of the management of Huangshicheng? Is there any measure taken to address the problem?

Jin Hongkui: I have the same feeling as you, but the management authority of Huangshicheng is not the Palace Museum, but the First Historical Archives of China. We have submitted a report to the State Council and expressed our hope to take back Huangshicheng under the management of the Museum. Because it is a major component of the Forbidden City and the location where the royal archives are stored, it should not look like what is today.

Q: Now each year the government inputs 100 million RMB yuan into the maintenance and repair of cultural relics. Is there any intention to introduce a commercial mechanism in the future? Such as introducing the investment of certain company and setting up a sign beside the project for which it donates money?

Jin Hongkui: Since the reform and opening up of China it has been advocated to introduce foreign investment in many areas. In terms of protection of cultural heritages, the central government also extends policy support for the introduction of foreign donation. However, up to now the two organizations extending help to the Palace Museum on a large scale have not raised such requirements, and we at the Museum also do not plan to do so. Within the Museum there are indeed some signs set up by companies, and right now we are carrying out the removal work. We will try our best to remove the signs so long as it is permitted by the contract. Our opinion is that once such signs contradict the status of the Palace Museum as a world cultural heritage we should remove them.

Q: the Palace Museum has put forward some proposals to the Beijing Municipal Government on protecting the areas outside its city walls. I'd like to ask whether the Government has responded to these proposals and demands. Besides, in response to the criticism of UNESCO against the Palace Museum, have you made any adjustments in accordance with the Organization's requirements?

Kong Fanzhi: I will show you two maps and you will be clear about the issue after a comparison between them. The first map was released in the 1980s. According to it, we can see that the Palace Museum lies in the center, circled first by protection green lands and then bungalows, only outside which over 2-storey houses are allowed to be built. Now this map is invalid and I take it here just to show our historical measures. The second map is drawn recently according to the requirements of UNESCO and represents the landscape protection zone and construction limited zone of the Palace Museum. That is to say the green-color areas around the Museum total 1,337 hectares, i.e. 13.77 square kilometers, which is under protection and control of the Palace Museum. This map has been put on the website (www.bjmuseumnet.org) for a month and more than 85% of Beijing citizens give active support to this protection measure. This map will be submitted to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and then to UNESCO next February. Thus, the protection issue of areas around the Palace Museum will be legally defined.

Q: is China's Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics compatible with international laws and regulations on this issue and is there any difference between them? Where do the 1,400 construction workers in the repair project of the Palace Museum live? How to maintain the security of the Palace Museum during the construction? How to guarantee that the removed woods are restored to the original shape? In addition, the number of tourists to the Palace Museum is increasing by a large margin year by year, e.g. the number has reached around 7 million in recent years. Can you say something about the number of tourists?

Gu Yucai: China's Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in 1982 and revised in 2002. In the process of formulating the Law, we fully learned from and absorbed the useful approaches of other countries on the cultural relics conservation and wrote them into the Law. Besides, due to certain conditions unique to China, there still remain some differences between China's Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics and those of other countries. China's Law has its own features suitable to itself. In the process of cultural relics conservation, China observes not only the Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics of its own, but also some international stipulations. China has joined all the four international conventions on the conservation of world cultural heritage.

Jin Hongkui: regarding the 1,400 construction workers, we adopt the following measures. First, these workers, especially heads of the construction teams and their leaders have to be trained before entering the Palace Museum, and we call such a system as the certification process. Second, all the construction units that are allowed to enter are selected through public bidding and they all have grade-one certificates for the repair, construction and design of cultural relic sites issued by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Third, the Palace Museum and construction units jointly formulate a whole set of measures for on-site management covering personnel, technology and material entry and exit. These management measures are adopted to ensure the security of the repair project. Fourth, the construction units are working in traditional ways to ensure that the repair will not change the original state of the sites. Besides, we think of a lot of approaches on technological measures. For example, the construction workers should mark every brick of important walls. Before the entry of those construction teams, we make full consideration to ensure not only the security of sites, but also that of tourists, since the repair is under way while many sub-museums in the Palace Museum are open to the public. Therefore we designate strict areas for management. The construction workers can enter the Palace Museum only when they are at work and they are not allowed to live there.

On the issue of tourists, the number of times to visit the Museum of tourists from home and abroad is on the rise since the reform and opening. The Palace Museum tries to restrict the number through the adjustments of ticket prices. After a ticket price rise, the number of tourists is somewhat curbed, but it goes up again after a period of time. So the ticket prices have to undergo another adjustment. Currently, the tourists total 7 million per year in peak time. On the one hand we control the number of tourists and on the other we hope to keep the flow of tourists as smooth as possible after their entry. We expand the opened areas in the hope that the visitors can get more knowledge of the Palace Museum because it is called the Palace Museum after all. In addition, in the future we will open as many valuable places in the Palace Museum as possible for tourists to visit. In short, the management of tourists represents two sides of one issue, which are to control the number of tourists on the one hand and to provide better services to them on the other.

Following the briefing, the journalists interviewed and photographed the repair sites of the west wing of the Gate of Supreme Harmony and Hall of Military Eminence.