Taiwan and China's Palace Museums: Background information when reading Fragile Cargo

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Fragile Cargo

The World War II Race to Save the Treasures of China's Forbidden City

by Adam Brookes

Fragile Cargo by Adam Brookes X
Fragile Cargo by Adam Brookes
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2023, 384 pages

    Oct 10, 2023, 384 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Taiwan and China's Palace Museums

This article relates to Fragile Cargo

The National Palace Museum, Taipei At the end of Fragile Cargo, Adam Brookes' excellent history about how China's cultural treasures were protected during World War II, the author informs his readers that the finest items in the imperial collection were moved to Taipan, Taiwan. They remain there to this day, an ongoing point of contention between Taiwan and China.

During the first half of the 20th century, China underwent massive cultural and political changes. The country had been ruled by emperors for millennia, but revolt and colonization by Western countries dramatically weakened imperial powers. In 1912, Nationalist revolutionaries forced the last emperor to abdicate, and the Republic of China was born. The new government decided to make the vast imperial grounds of the Forbidden City in Beijing into a museum that all could enjoy, and the Palace Museum was established in 1925. It was immensely popular; 50,000 people visited in the first two days it was open; and it stayed open even during the early years of ...

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