China's Palace Museum Inaugurates Underground Warehouse

The Palace Museum in the Chinese capital of Beijing has moved about 600,000 artifacts into a vast underground warehouse over the past three years, according to sources with the museum Monday.

The underground warehouse, the first ever built in China for protecting valuable artifacts, is a three-floored concrete structure to protect the artifacts not only from flooding and damp, but during possible wars or earthquakes.

The warehouse has not only state-of-the art fire control and security systems, air-conditioning and but also up-to-the minute systems for transferring the artifacts.

The Palace Museum, also known as the prestigious Forbidden City, housed dozens of emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties from the 14th to the 20th centuries.

It has cited as a world cultural heritage site since 1987 and is one of the best known tourist attractions in Beijing and the whole China.

The Palace Museum boats millions of artifacts, including priceless Chinese porcelain and pottery ware, invaluable paintings and calligraphic works, jewelry, furniture, clocks, and exquisite toys, to name just a few.

It is widely believed that the new underground storage area will greatly improve the conditions under which the artifacts are kept.

(Xinhua News Agency June 24, 2002)

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