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25 July 2017 – The Palace Museum held a memorial in honor of Mr. Zhang Zhongpei and his significant contributions to the field of archaeology and museum development. Mr. Zhang was an archeologist, former director of the Palace Museum, former honorary director of the Palace Museum Research Institute, and former deputy director of the Palace Museum Academic Committee. He passed away at the age of eighty-three on 5 July in a hospital in Beijing.
The memorial was jointly organized by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH); Peking University; Jilin University; Institute of Archeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (IA CASS); China Society of Cultural Relics; and Chinese Museums Association. During the ceremony, Mr. Zhang's colleagues from a variety of backgrounds praised his rational approach to research and the integrity with which he conducted his work. Representatives from the SACH, Peking University, and Jilin University, where Mr. Zhang formerly worked, spoke highly of his professional achievements and contributions to archaeology in China. Unable to personally attend the memorial, the prominent scholars Xie Chensheng, Geng Baochang, Huang Jinglüe and Yan Wenming expressed their grief at his passing and praised his virtue and scholarship through video. Mr. Zhang’s former classmate—the eighty-year-old Ye Xiaoye—and others representing Mr. Zhang’s former students, young scholars, and family members also shared memories during the ceremony. They spoke of how Mr. Zhang succeeded in managing his diverse roles of teacher, worker, student, and researcher. Furthermore, archaeologists from the Hunan Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Liangzhu Museum, and other archaeological institutions spoke of his dedication to and promotion of archaeology in China and the preservation of cultural artifacts.
The Palace Museum's Director Shan Jixiang spoke of Mr. Zhang’s rigorous scientific approach to his work as he sought to lay down a framework for the Palace Museum’s future development; he also showed gratitude for Mr. Zhang's contributions towards laying the foundation for the Museum’s ongoing success.
At the afternoon’s symposium, archaeologists and museum staff from across the country gathered and exchanged thoughts on the significance of Mr. Zhang’s scholarship. In continuing his academic endeavors, these scholars and museum professionals are honoring and memorializing him as an archaeologist and scholar. The Museum has also designed a webpage to call for memorials and other writings honoring his memory and work. Interested parties may contribute such articles by using the form at the bottom of the following page.