Beijing Palace Museum to Open $450 Million Branch in Hong Kong

The project shows growing cultural ties between Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Beijing Palace Museum. Photo NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images.

In a sign of developing cultural links between mainland China and Hong Kong, it’s been announced that Hong Kong will have its own branch of the Beijing Palace Museum. By 2022, a replica of the famous museum is set to be completed, with construction starting next year.

According to the Art Newspaperthe project will be funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The non-profit institution, the largest community benefactor in the region, will be contributing $450 million (HK$3.5 billion) to the new museum.

The new museum will be built on a site covering 30,500 square metres, which will house two main exhibition spaces, a 400-seat lecture theatre, souvenir shops, restaurants, and activity rooms for visitors, the South China Morning Post reports.

Opening in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the museum will enjoy special status, allowing for up to 1000 items from the Beijing Palace Museum to be on loan for periods as long as 3 years despite the current state policy, which only permits a maximum loan of 120 items for 3 months. Items spanning 5,000 years of traditional Chinese art, including artefacts from the Ming and Qing imperial courts, will be exhibited.

The future exhibits will be loaned to us by the Palace Museum on a long-term basis, which would have been impossible within the existing state policy on the export of artefacts,” Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief secretary for administration of Hong Kong, told the SCMP.

“This is the best and biggest gift to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland,” Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, said at the signing ceremony, which took place in Beijing. Hong Kong was under British Rule until 1997, when it was transferred back to the People’s Republic of China.

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