The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), located in the West Kowloon Cultural District of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was inaugurated on June 22 and is scheduled to open to the public on July 2.
More than 40,000 tickets were sold or reserved within eight hours on the first day of public sale, and all free visits on Wednesdays in July were fully booked.
The HKPM, a new cultural landmark of Hong Kong, not only adds to cultural atmosphere in the city, but also provides a new site for local residents and visitors to learn about the development of Chinese civilization and culture.
"This is a great gift from the motherland to Hong Kong," said Louis Ng, director of the HKPM.
More than 900 pieces of treasures from the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing will be put on display at the opening exhibitions.
From paintings and bronze wares to embroideries and ancient architectures, the exhibits span the 5,000-year history of Chinese civilization, covering all categories of the collection of the Palace Museum, including 166 pieces of first-class cultural relics of the country.
This will be the largest and highest-level cultural heritage exhibitions of the Palace Museum outside of the mainland since its establishment in 1925.
Preparatory work for the exhibitions began in 2018, with the Palace Museum fielding a team of leading experts and scholars, in collaboration with the curatorial team of the HKPM.
"It is a great thing to display the pieces of cultural relics in Hong Kong, which reflects the central government's support to the development of Hong Kong's cultural undertakings," said Ng, adding that the exhibits from the Palace Museum will present a cultural feast to Hong Kong residents by telling them about the motherland's long history and splendid culture.
The HKPM embodies the excellence of traditional Chinese culture, as can be seen from the design and construction of the building. The museum building is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. The exterior walls are inlaid with 3,999 pieces of curved glazed tiles.
The museum adopts the distinctive "Central Axis" concept, and traditional Chinese cultural elements such as red doors decorated with golden doornails are also presented.
"Promoting traditional Chinese culture is one of our important tasks," said Betty Fung, chief executive officer of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, adding that it is also the original aspiration and mission of the establishment of the HKPM.
She said the HKPM will actively push ahead with the publicity of the motherland's culture and history after its opening, enhancing Hong Kong residents' cultural confidence in the country, especially among youths.
"When I was a child, I really wished that I could visit the magnificent palaces in Beijing," said Muk Ka-chun, a teacher at Pui Kiu Middle School in Hong Kong, adding that he looks forward to appreciating the cultural relics from Beijing's Palace Museum.
He believes that a visit to the HKPM will enable Hong Kong youths to learn more about the time-honored history and rich civilization of the motherland, cultivate their cultural identity and confidence, and lay the foundation for them to become disseminators, inheritors and promoters of traditional Chinese culture.
"I hope that I can bring my students to the museum once it opens," Muk said.
Thirteen pieces of artifacts from the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, will also be exhibited in the HKPM after it opens. Ng believes that this reflects the rationale behind the establishment of the HKPM, which is not only to inherit and promote traditional Chinese culture, but also to promote cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
Fung said that the HKPM will actively enhance cooperation with international museums, telling the world the stories of China, including the stories of Hong Kong.