TAIPEI – Taipei’s National Palace Museum will be renovated between 2020-2023, the Taiwanese government said on Tuesday.
Government spokesperson Kolas Yotaka said in a statement that the museum, which houses imperial Chinese artifacts transferred by Chiang Kai-shek’s government in 1949, would be completely renovated to make it a world-class tourist attraction and some of the artifacts would be temporarily moved to the southern branch of the museum.
The main museum will be closed for visitors during the three years of renovation.
The spokesperson said the southern branch of the museum would remain open and continue to expand during the period.
Taiwan is set to spend around NT$10.1 billion (around $33 million) in a comprehensive renovation plan aimed at raising the number of visitors, which was expected to reach around five million this year.
Kolas said around 26.7 million tourists had visited the museum between 2008-2014, and the annual number of visitors was expected to rise to 5.4 million in 2020 – the year of the Tokyo Olympics – and to six million in 2024.
The National Palace Museum houses a permanent collection of more than 697,490 art pieces, including an important part of the Chinese imperial collection.
Most of the artifacts were transferred from the Forbidden City in Beijing by the nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek when he took refuge on the island after being defeated by the communist forces of Mao Zedong in 1949.