Taipei museum questioned over overseas loan of calligraphy
Experts and netizens on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have expressed concerns about a move by the Taipei Palace Museum to transport a more than 1,200-year-old calligraphy to Japan for a month-long exhibition, claiming that the trip risks damaging the precious Tang Dynasty relic.
"Ji Zhi Wen Gao," or "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew," calligraphy written by Yan Zhenqing during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). The calligraphic masterpiece contains 234 characters, and is going on-loan from the Taipei Palace Museum to the Tokyo National Museum. [Screenshot: China Plus via Taipei Palace Museum]
The controversy erupted on Saturday after a photo of a poster was published on Sina Weibo showing that the "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew" by famed Chinese calligrapher Yan Zhenqing (709-785 C.E.) from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) will be on display at the Tokyo National Museum from January 16 to February 24.
A screenshot showing a photo of an exhibition poster published on Sina Weibo on January 12, 2019, announcing the "Draft of a Requiem to My Nephew," a calligraphic classic by renowned Chinese calligrapher Yan Zhenqing (709-785 CE) will be displayed at Japan's Tokyo National Museum from January 16 to February 24.[Screenshot: China Plus]
Written by Yan Zhenqing at the age of 49 to mourn the death of his cousin and nephew who died during a rebellion during the Tang Dynasty, it is considered one of Yan's most important works.
Experts and netizens have expressed concerns about the risks of moving the 1,200-year-old artifact.
Liu Zheng, a member of the China Cultural Relics Academy, told the Global Times that the ancient paper could be damaged while being transported.
And netizens' comments from both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have also shared their concerns, with many arguing that an ancient scroll of this stature should not be subjected to an overseas trip.
Famed Chinese calligrapher Yan Zhenqing (709-785 CE) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). [File Photo: VCG]
Taiwan's United Daily News reports that the ancient scroll was among 70 masterpieces listed by the Taipei Palace Museum as an item that can only be shown for a maximum of 42 days at a time, and should "rest" for more than three years after every exhibition.
The newspaper pointed out that the calligraphy hasn't been on public display in Taiwan since 2008.
Some experts who were quoted by CGTN noted that, although cultural exchanges are important, there has to be a limit.