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In the Focus

Palace Museum Chief Curator Shares Thoughts on Protecting Traditional Chinese Culture

Apr 12, 2018 Latest

On April 11th, 2018, Shan Jixiang, the chief curator of the Palace Museum, gave a lecture themed “Establish Confidence in One’s Own Culture and Protect it,” at SUSTech. University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong and Curator of Shenzhen Museum Ye Yang attended the lecture, which was hosted by University Council Vice Chairperson Li Fengliang.

The exciting lecture attracted a large audience, including students from other universities across Shenzhen. During the lecture, Shan Jixiang shared his thoughts about the protection and renovation of the Palace Museum and introduced some details of the museum’s collections.

Since there is a distinct difference between ancient and modern crafting technique, it is especially important for the museum staff nowadays to precisely restore cultural relics to its original form. Shan Jixiang believed the repair and restoration of cultural relics requires what he called “a spirit of craftsmanship.” A spirit of craftsmanship involves a great deal of hard work, patience and time, so the Palace Museum has established “the Relics Hospital,” adopting advanced technology and current research findings for relic restoration. Shan Jixiang showed the audience some of the successfully restored relics with the help of cutting-edge technology.

“We should systematically sort out traditional cultural resources. We want people to see our collection, both inside and outside the museum to help our historical characters come to life,” said Director Shan Jixiang, “Chinese culture is stunning. We should demonstrate our unique culture in a variety of ways.”

Director Shan Jixiang introduced the current progress the Palace Museum has made in adapting to modern society, including electronic tickets, a virtual museum, free-admission days, and an overall renovation of the Palace Museum to improve the visitor experience. The museum also developed creative cultural products and organized Forbidden City-themed activities throughout China and around the world. In this way, Chinese cultural relics can come back to people’s daily lives, make an impact on their sense of aesthetics and maximize its inherent value.

“I keep reminding myself that we need a sense of history. China’s confidence in its development under the guidance of Socialism with Chinese characteristics is from over 5,000 years of civilization and history.” Shan Jixiang said the Palace Museum had made great efforts to promote Chinese culture in various ways and to provide people with better cultural products, thus turning the museum into an oasis of civilization.

Director Shan Jixiang’s humorous speech was extremely well received, and the Q&A session was highly entertaining for all involved.


Background information:

Shan Jixiang is the Director of the Palace Museum, the Chairman of China Cultural Relics Academy, and the 10th, 11th, 12th Members of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). From 2002 to 2012, he took the responsibility of the Director General of State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Furthermore, he received the “Forbes Prize,” which was presented by International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. 


Text Tong Xiaojin/Fan Yining/Chris Edwards

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