Forbidden City: Half day closure to rehabilitate from heavy visiting

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In order to protect its architecture and relics, the Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, Beijing's top tourist attraction, will have a half-day closure on Monday afternoon every week, during winter time.

To step up protection of the world heritage site, the Palace Museum will close every Monday afternoon, to allow time for inspection and maintenance of the buildings and relics. The half-day closure will be in trial implementation from the coming Monday to the end of March.

Li Ji, vice president of Palace Museum, said, Last year, the number of visitors reached a record number 15.34 million, on average 40-thousand visitors every day. Opening every day without taking a rest we don’t have time to take care of the buildings and relics. So we are choosing to close for half a day during winter, the off season, to provide maintenance on all the relics.

The museum will not close on the Monday afternoon of the one-week Spring Festival holiday from Feburary 9th to 15th considering the big demand from holiday travellors. Li says on Mondays in winter, the museum only has 10-20,000 visitors, which is less than half of the number in other seasons. For those who plan to come on Monday, they still have half a day to tour the site, so this change will not harm people’s visit in general.

The Palace Museum has already informed all tourist agencies about the change. The museum administrator says the huge stream of visitors every day has done hidden harm to the cultural heritage site. The half day maintenance every week will enable the world’s visitors to better appreciate the 6-century-old royal palace.

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