The UCD CII new building welcomed its first public lecture speaker, Dr Jixiang Shan, Curator of the Palace Museum on the evening 21st September, 2018. The lecture, titled The World around the Forbidden City and the Forbidden City of the World, told the story of this great World Heritage Site from its past, present and the challenges it is facing.
Along with 130 UCD and CII staff and students at the lecture were Chinese Ambassador H.E. Dr Yue Xiaoyong, UCD CII Director Prof Liming Wang, CII Co-Director Mr Wei Zhang and UCD Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar Prof Barbara Dooley.
Prof Wang’s introduction of the CII new flagship building project and Dr Shan’s biography was followed by Dr Shan’s lecture. He spoke of the change the Forbidden City has undergone since he was appointed Curator in 2012 and its current situation.
Dr Shan believes that the cultural resources of the Museum should benefit visitors more than just the purpose of ‘I’ve been there’; he said that tourists should be able to feel the existence and passion of the Museum. To improve its overall reception and preserve the historical buildings and cultural heritage, the management removed the market outside the Museum, opened more box offices and ticketing channels, stopped vehicles from entering public areas in the Museum; more seats were added and the green areas and general environment were improved.
Visitor numbers in 2012 reached 15 million, ranking first globally. This creates a major challenge for the Forbidden City. Measures were adopted including limiting visitor numbers, diverting visitors and off-season discounted prices.
Another priority is the restoration of its buildings and artefacts, through which the public are able to see the glory of these buildings and artefacts.
Dr Shan said that 80% of the Forbidden City is now open to the public, which offers a more diversified experience to tourists. This level of openness also means bigger and more responsibilities of building and antique preservation.
Dr Shan finished the lecture with an update of their latest additions such as the digital museum, creative souvenirs and the Palace Museum Academy. His humour, wit and honesty filled his speech with laughter and applause.
Prof Wang complimented Dr Shan on his outstanding contribution to promoting Chinese culture and cultural heritage and said Dr Shan is an model figure for directors of global Confucius Institutes, and awarded Dr Shan the certificate of honorary senior research fellow. Chinese Ambassador Dr Yue presented the letter of appointment to Dr Shan.
This lecture was the first of many events launched by UCD CII as part of its 2018 Confucius Day and also the first public event since the opening of the new CII building on 5th September.
Written by：Li Yu