Palace Museum works on Thangka restoration


19th Jan, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew


BEIJING, Jan 19: The Palace Museum restoration center has been focused on restoring Thangka, brightly colored Tibetan buddhist paintings on fabric, since it opened at the end of 2016, Shan Jixiang, director of the museum, has said.

The workshop, dubbed a "Restoration Hospital," employs around 200 "doctors" to analyze, examine, detect flaws or damage in relics and restore them using more than 100 pieces of specialized equipment including 3D printers and scanners, Shan said.

"The staff magnify a Thangka 100 times, until every thread and piece of fabric is clearly visible, so that the Thangka can be restored to its original state," Shan explained.

The center welcomes visits from both international restoration experts and the general public to observe firsthand how it undertakes the protection of China's cultural heritage.

It is located in the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City,and is the largest cultural heritage restoration center in China.

The center conserves cultural relics, including textiles, wood, lacquer, ceramics, metal, clocks, books, Thangka and murals and also replicates of calligraphy and painting.

In 2016, some 76 percent of the Palace Museum was open to the public. Shan said that in the future this will be extended to 85 percent