Some of China's most valuable historic artifacts went on display in Taiwan Monday at a new branch of one of the world's top museums, as the island pushes its credentials as a cultural destination.
The 9,000 square meter venue in the southern city of Chiayi is an extension of Taipei's famous National Palace Museum -- one of the most popular museums in the world, drawing more than five million visitors each year.
The new attraction opens as Taiwan attempts to diversify its stagnating economy, with tourism a key area for growth, and officials hope the museum will lure more visitors to the rural south.
The opening comes after a catalogue of delays due to flooding, and disagreements with the venue's original architect -- it has taken 15 years to complete.
"We hope to attract up to 1.5 million visitors in the first year," said Feng Ming-chu, director of both the Taipei and Chiayi museums.
The new venue will target domestic visitors from the south as well as foreign tourists, with the museum to be included in travel packages, said Feng.
The flagship Taipei museum boasts more than 655,000 Chinese artifacts spanning 7,000 years from the prehistoric Neolithic period to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.
They were removed from the Beijing Palace Museum in the 1930s by China's Nationalist government to prevent them falling into the hands of invading Japanese troops.
The collection was then transported to Taiwan by the Nationalists after they were defeated by Chinese communist forces and fled the mainland in 1949.
Jackie donated a set of 12 Zodiac heads to the museum. The artistic team responsible for the creation of the zodiac heads worked with the museum for three years to finalize the exhibit.
Jackie had this message about the museum and his donation of the zodiac heads:
Dear friends, Hello, everyone!
Many people have asked me what my reason is for wanting to build this zodiac copper head? Here, I would like to share some stories of my heart. Around 2000, when I saw the news that there was an auction house auctioning Yuanmingyuan relics internationally - the zodiac animal heads. This was the first time I noticed it, and then after a year , even I bid on a tiger! I began to want to seriously study this matter, but also to find someone to investigate its historical background, because this is really the trigger to my heart thinking a lot of things.
All along, I will go in my films speak for some of my heritage, civilization and respect for ideas, in addition to "Zodiac," and "Operation Condor", "The Myth" and so on ...... I was in the movie learn slowly, and with more and more, more and more profound feelings, I think it's actually something everyone should do. To be honest, I think the idea for Zodiac developing for many years, because Zodiac itself is one of the best issues and representatives of the story as the whole world knows it. But do not think it took longer, which is really very complex process, several years, from looking for the person in charge, design, research, to find the master, constantly try to continuously repair, and failed to do, totally regardless of the cost because I agree with the artistic team to do well, and not just mimic or restore. From the beginning, before filming, I had to think clearly, they are to make works of art, made of a can convey the news of "time capsule" so that more people understand: the culture belongs to the world cultural heritage of mankind, no matter in which country, regardless of national strength, heritage should not be occupied by any person, learn to respect different different civilizations It should become the consensus of all mankind.
I really wanted to make this concept to stay longer, scattered farther, meet more people, also led to more thinking. So I'm going to donate these copper head, scattered around the globe, and as far as possible across race, across geographies.
At this stage, very pleased and very grateful that we have completed the ceremony National Museum of Asian Civilisations Singapore
and exhibitions, today also completed the opening of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, in addition to several museums are still being discussed.
Our future goal is to finalize the seven sets of copper head permanently settled in the world's seven world-class museums, you can
head to the implication of the concept of copper in different ethnic groups, different communities, whether after a hundred years or longer, It can be enough to have been passed on.
Sincerely thank you for your support!
December 28, 2015
和展覽，今天也完成了臺北故宮博物院的揭幕，另外仍有幾家博物館正在討論中。我們未來的目標是要最終完成七套銅頭在世界七大國際級博物館的永久入駐，可以 把銅頭所蘊涵的理念，在不同族群、不同社群，不管是一百年還是更久以後，都能 夠一直傳遞下去。