According to the director of the Palace Museum Shan Jixiang, Nandaku, or "the Grand Southern Warehouse" will open a permanent exhibition for royal furniture from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) this month. The exhibition will provide opportunities for more furniture to be seen by the public.
A chair made of deer antlers used by the Qianlong Emperor is among the first phase of the artifacts exhibition, together with dozens of other exquisite thrones. The second and third phase of the exhibition will complete the arrangement work in three months. Nandaku will eventually display more than 2,000 pieces of furniture to the public.
A recent survey of the inventory found that 1.86 million artifacts are now housed in the Palace Museum. But due to the limited space, only 2 percent of this huge collection can be displayed at any one time. It is estimated that the figure is expected to reach 8 percent by 2020.
The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, was the former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (the years 1420 to 1912). Nandaku was the biggest warehouse in the palace during the imperial years. In 2002, only about 30 percent of the museum's 720,000 square meters was opened to the public, and now 80 percent is open. The Palace Museum is still making plans with related cultural administrations on how to use some new spaces to display more cultural relics.