BEIJING (AFP) – The Forbidden City, China’s ancient imperial palace museum, is to loan more than 100 works to the Louvre in Paris, some of which have never left China.
The group of about 130 artefacts includes arms, clothing, bronzes, pieces of jade, lacquerware, enamels, seals, ceramics and personal effects of the Ming and Qing emperors, offering a window on life at China’s imperial court.
The pieces are to feature in a major exhibition set to open later this year in Paris, according to organisers, who revealed the collection to reporters on Thursday and Friday.
It is the first time that such works will be on display at the Louvre, which does not have a Chinese art department. Some of the museum’s galleries will be modified to accommodate the collection.
Located in central Beijing, the Forbidden City was first built in the early decades of the 15th century and served as the imperial palace of China’s Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.
It was transformed into the Palace Museum in 1925 after the fall of the Qing.
The exhibition, “The Forbidden City at the Louvre,” will examine the parallel history of the two palaces – which were both home to kings and emperors and are now museums.
The show will be open from September 29 through January 9, 2012.
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