Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

Updated: 2011-08-02 14:08


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Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

Managers of the Palace Museum admitted on Sunday that a piece of 1,000-year-old porcelain among its invaluable collection had been damaged by error during research, which involved examining the artifact with an analytical device.

This disclosure came after a netizen on Saturday blew the whistle on the accident and claimed the Beijing museum, also known as the Forbidden City, had been trying to cover up the incident.

Despite the Museum's admission, Chinese netizens, as ever, are unrelenting. They are questioning why it took so long for the Museum to disclose the incident, and more pertinent, why it took some one else who is not working in the Museum to break the news to the general public. 

Note: all the following views are extracts from the users' postings of Sina Weibo.



Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

What the Palace Museum is managing is the culture and history of our nation. Every relic is irreplaceable and unable to be duplicated. Just like an 80-year-old person deserving our respect and care, these treasures that are passed down from generation to generation throughout thousands of years, with our true love and even the sacrifice of lives, need even more. But now, the historical and cultural heritage of the whole nation is managed by a group of those who don’t know how to cherish them, which is a total disappointment. From the previous theft to the damaged plate, the problems are the same in nature.


@Mrkang Kang

Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

   It is urgent for the Palace Museum to change its attitude. Because of the series of incidents, ranging from the theft to the damaged plate, arrogance and perfunctory has become its associations. If it still refuses to repent, there will be more relics damaged, which may be then covered up once again. Sometimes, when we see other countries’ museums, we cannot help thinking, though our relics were robbed by the invaders, if we ignore the matter of justification, at least they are safer there. The Palace Museum is really a magical place.



It is just like another pinch of salt in the wound of Chinese people. It’s unknown what would be the scapegoat and what excuse would be used this time. The “wrongly written character” incident has already raised our doubts about the honesty of many institutions.



Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

It has been 62 years since the Palace Museum was taken over in 1949. Only recently did we know that both theft and damage could happen here. When the Museum was taken over, there must have been an account book? The account book must be thicker as the time passes by? Can we make it open to the public? Is the 1,000-year-old porcelain plate the only broken relic over the past 60 years? Does everything match the records of the books? Historical questions should be seen from a historical perspective, but the Palace Museum, as long as you can make your activities transparent, no more suspicions and concerns will come from us again, what do you say?


@Shanshanlaichi practice

As for the mistake in operating of the device, which caused the damage of the relic, can I doubt there was a “bait-and-switch”?



Forgive me to gauge the motives, but I do suspect, “Is it that the relic was stolen, so the Palace Museum deliberately crushed a fake one in the research to cover up the fact?” Lu Xun said, “I never feel afraid to assume the worst motives when measuring us Chinese.”



Netizens doubt Palace Museum's handling of ancient relics

  It is reported that the 1,000-year-old  porcelain plate that was damaged in the Palace Museum can be restored. Heartbroken as I am, I still want to tell everyone: We know it since our childhood that the damage of relics cannot be restored. Even its appearance can be brought back to what it once looked like, the spirit has gone forever. It is better to restore the soul of people than the relic.




Steven The history of a relic is just like this, full of stories as well as misfortunes. It is just the stories and misfortunes that make the historical value of a work of art.



The 1,000-year-old porcelain plate in the Palace Museum was broken, which incurred the loss of millions. However, maybe it is because relics of this kind have already run to the end of its course, whose destiny has little to do with human error. Matter can be indestructible but not unbreakable. Personally, I don’t think it is worth a fight over this kind of things. Valuable though it is, it cannot outweigh human lives.