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NPM collection exhibition opens in style despite poster glitch

2014/06/23 20:20:18

National Palace Museum Director Fung Ming-chu (center) and Tokyo National Museum head Masami Zeniya (left)

Tokyo, June 23 (CNA) An unprecedented exhibition of artifacts from Taiwan's National Palace Museum (NPM) was finally opened in Japan on Monday in a grand ceremony at the Tokyo National Museum, following a dispute over a promotional poster that nearly derailed the show.

Many Japanese politicians appeared at the ceremony, including former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Disaster Prevention Minister Keiji Furuya and Takeo Hiranuma, head of a pro-Taiwan parliamentary group in the Diet.

They jointly cut the ribbon along with NPM Director Fung Ming-chu and her counterpart at the Tokyo museum, Masami Zeniya, to formally open the much-anticipated exhibition.

Describing himself as a longtime admirer of the NPM's collection, Mori felt it was very important that the exhibition, titled "Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei" could be opened as scheduled and said it was a good thing for the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.

Mori was referring to a dispute over some posters, billboards and tickets that listed the NPM's name in Japanese as the "Palace Museum, Taipei" -- an apparent violation of an agreement between Taiwan and Japan that the museum's full name be used in all publicity materials.

The Taipei museum threatened last Friday to cancel the exhibition if the problem was not rectified.

But the Japanese side took measures over the weekend to replace all the problematic posters, billboards and tickets and Zeniya issued an apology over the incident earlier Monday.

At the opening ceremony, Furuya warmly greeted Fung and predicted that the exhibition would be a big hit in Japan.

Furuya was one of the Japanese congressmen, along with Hiranuma, who promoted legislation in 2011 that rendered foreign-loaned cultural objects immune from seizure.

That allowed works from the NPM's collection to be exhibited in Japan without fear of losing them to China, which considers the artifacts to be Chinese property.

Fung expressed her gratitude to Furuya for his efforts in pushing the new law through. The NPM head had flown to Tokyo earlier in the day for the opening ceremony, which also attracted a large media contingent.

Following the ceremony, the guests of the Tokyo museum were invited to tour the exhibition, which was to open to the public on Tuesday.

The Tokyo show will run through Sept. 15, but the renowned Jadeite Cabbage will only be displayed during the exhibition's first two weeks.

The collection will then be displayed at the Kyushu National Museum from Oct. 7 to Nov. 30.

(Yang Ming-chu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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