The migration of art relies on the hands of those who would buy it, steal it, protect it. The Forbidden City was the home of emperors, glittering in their splendor and dynasties of wealth. After the threat of Japan was over, the Chinese Civil War continued to place the imperial treasures in danger, for the Cultural Revolution was coming with the intent to destroy every remnant of the past.
Chiang Kai-shek brought as much as he could of royal collection to Taiwan for safekeeping, using it to claim that the Republic of China were still the true rulers of the country. An exhibition hall was built in Taipei, and became the second National Palace Museum. The People’s Republic of China have claimed that the treasure was stolen, but the argument of protecting the work from the Cultural Revolution has won out. Taiwan is permitted to keep and display the treasures for now.
The National Palace Museum is my favorite part of Taipei, mom and I always go when we can. She says that there is a big cave behind the museum that houses all the treasure. Even though they get cycled through the museum, there is so much that the museum hasn’t displayed it all yet. I don’t know how true that all is, but it makes the whole thing feel like magic.
Here is a sampling of things you can see if you visit:
There was also an interesting modern section in which some artwork was given some interactive digital treatment. Good for the kiddos.
The museum food is pretty tasty too.
What a dream it would be to work there.