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Old photos shed new light on Yuanmingyuan's former glory

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2021-02-25 07:32

Workers from the administration of Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park exhibit a photo from the 1920s that features a statue of Manjusri Bodhisattva, a Buddhist deity, at Zhengjue Temple in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Referring to historical documents, archaeological research, scattered architectural ruins and ancient artworks portraying original scenes, people have to rely on their imagination to get an impression of the past splendor of Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace, in Beijing.

But they may now be able to get a clearer picture of its former glory.

On Tuesday, the administration of the Yuanmingyuan ruins released more than 360 old photos, which were collected globally in recent years. Taken after invading Anglo-French allied forces looted and burned Yuanmingyuan, these photos capture the time before the former royal resort fell into ruin over the following decades.

Most of the photos had never been publicly displayed, and around 100 of them will be exhibited over the next month at the Zhengjue Temple of the Yuanmingyuan Ruins Park.

"These findings will help people get a better understanding of how Yuanmingyuan has changed throughout history," said Li Xiangyang, deputy director of the administration.

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