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Cultural Heritage Conservation and Restoration at the Palace Museum


Location:Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu men)

Dates: 2015-09-25 through 2015-11-15


The Forbidden City served as the imperial residence and center of governance for twenty-four emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. Absolute imperial power and privilege allowed the imperial household to amass extensive collections of treasures. These collections have survived hundreds and thousands of years of vicissitudes with varying degrees of damage and corrosion. Throughout history, many works of art have required maintenance and restoration. Meanwhile, invaluable methods and techniques have been passed down by generations of conservators. Since the establishment of the Palace Museum ninety years ago in 1925, these dedicated individuals have worked tirelessly to preserve precious imperial collections for years to come.


  Through careful application of scientific conservation methods, conservators have provided significant support in the identification of damage to works of art. After forming strategies for restoration, they are able to take appropriate measures to preserve priceless treasures. Traditional and modern conservation techniques together form a sound approach for practical application in what has been affectionately called the Palace Museum’s “Hospital for Cultural Relics”. For over half a century, countless works have received thoughtful attention by “Cultural Relic Doctors” in this restoration center.


  This exhibition is the fruit of the Palace Museum’s efforts over the past three years to combine advanced technology with intangible cultural heritage restoration. The gallery features methods used to salvage pieces that have been seriously damaged. Additionally, these scientific conservation and restoration methods further promote the Museum’s guiding vision—“Safe Museum, Secure Palace” (Ping’an Gugong).


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