Taiwan museum makes exhibit images free to download

Art lovers can see the fine details of works by eleventh century artist Fan Kuan Image copyright TAIPEI NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
Image caption Art lovers can see the fine details of works by 11th-century artist Fan Kuan

An imperial palace museum in Taiwan has made thousands of images of its artwork and artefacts available to download online, it's reported.

According to popular news website The Paper, Taipei's National Palace Museum has placed 70,000 high-quality electronic images in a free-to-download archive so that online users can enjoy its exhibitions. It also provides a database for users to download information on the history and use of the cultural artefacts.

The Paper said that the archive will help "make cultural relics more accessible and more convenient for people" who can't reach the museum in person.

It adds that the archive will actually help users see some exhibits better than in real life, where there are "glass barrier and lighting restrictions".

The Taipei Palace Museum has its roots in Beijing's Forbidden City Palace Museum, and hosts a large collection of artwork and artefacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1386-1912).

Some of its most famous pieces are from the earlier Song Dynasty (960-1279), including paintings from acclaimed 11th-century artists Fan Kuan and Guo Xi.

While it is the first museum to offer up such an archive of material on China's imperial history, it is not the first internationally to offer copyright-free images to art lovers and history buffs. In February 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York placed some 375,000 pictures of its exhibits online.

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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