Hong Kong Palace Museum aims to engage city’s youth in Chinese culture

HONG KONG, June 22 (Reuters) – The new Palace Museum of Hong Kong, a gift from Beijing to mark the 25th anniversary of the territory’s return to Chinese rule, aims to engage the city’s younger generation in Chinese culture , said its director on Wednesday.

Covering over 30,000 square meters, the museum features more than 900 items on loan from the Beijing Palace Museum in the Forbidden City, including Qing Dynasty portraits, calligraphy and ceramics.

Of these, 166 works are considered “national treasures”.

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“We must promote the transmission and dissemination of Chinese culture,” museum director Louis Ng said ahead of the museum’s July 2 opening, a day after Hong Kong marks the anniversary of its passage from British rule to Chinese rule. “Especially for young people, we need to give them more opportunities to understand and appreciate Chinese culture.

The museum sparked controversy when the plans were unveiled in 2016, with critics saying there was a lack of transparency over the multibillion-dollar project and that it was presented as a deal done without public consultation.

A consultation period followed after the announcement of the agreement.

Among the highlights of the museum, which includes nine galleries, are paintings from the Tang and Song dynasties.

Funded by a HK$3.5 billion ($446 million) donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the museum next to Kowloon’s waterfront will also display 13 pieces on loan from the Louvre in Paris.

($1 = HK$7.8499)

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Reporting by Kiki Lo; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Gerry Doyle

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