SHI Ningchang 史寧昌
The Palace Museum 故宮博物院

Traditional Techniques and Scientific Means in Conservation at The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum is the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties, where 24 emperors had lived the whole empire. Going through hundreds and thousands of years of vicissitudes, a myriad of collected treasures had survived with varying degrees of damage and corrosion. The restoration of cultural heritage has a long history. Its approaches have passed down through word of mouth from generation to generation. The Conservation Department has become a professional department which is mainly engaged in conservation, restoration and scientific research of cultural heritage after years of development. With the application of science and technology on the conservation of cultural heritage, it has provided significant support for the diagnosis of damage, as well as formulation of strategies for preventive conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. "Traditional techniques" and "scientific means" together forms the backbone upon which "The Hospital for Cultural Heritage" was established in The Palace Museum. Over half a century, these cultural treasures were sent into "The Hospital for Cultural Heritage" with their longevities extended by the doctors in the hospital. Meanwhile, the Conservation Department possesses 4 items of National Intangible Cultural Heritage. With the implementation of "Peaceful Palace Museum" project, more than one hundred professional and technical personnel from 13 kinds of workshops restore hundreds of pieces of cultural heritage every year, including: wood, textile, lacquerware, inlay, metal, ancient clock, ceramic, mounting of ancient painting and calligraphy, facsimileing and digital printing of ancient painting and calligraphy, traditional packaging, thangka and artwork.