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Taiwan’s National Palace Museum confesses breaking artefacts valued more than $70 million

In the past 18 months, at least three artefacts from the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (164–1911) dynasties in Taiwan’s National Palace Museum have been damaged. Following questions from a Taiwan legislator, the museum recently acknowledged that this included a bowl, a teacup, and a plate that were damaged in three different occurrences.

The head of the nation’s opposition, Chen I-shin, accused the Palace Museum’s director, Wu Mi-cha, of trying to hide the fact that the museum had damaged a national asset on Friday.

At a press conference, Wu refuted these claims, insisted that they had not tried to conceal the information, and acknowledged that, in fact, at least three objects from the museum’s archive had been damaged.

Wu further claimed that the combined estimated worth of these damaged artefacts shouldn’t exceed NT$2.5 billion ($77.85 million), that they had never been put on exhibit, and that they were uninsured.

According to reports, the National Palace Museum on the outskirts of Taipei houses the biggest collection of Chinese artefacts in existence.

Furthermore, the museum director said that after the three incidents he was notified by the staff immediately and even launched investigations in response. He also claimed that the information was classified to protect the evidence and not hide it.

Notably, the museum had not initially released the images citing the ongoing investigation but did so anyway days later.


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