China’s Old Summer Palace launches porcelain restoration project

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/12 14:18:55

Fragments of imperial porcelains unearthed at China's Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) Photo: IC

Fragments of imperial porcelains unearthed at China's Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) Photo: IC

An expert works on the restoration of a blue and white porcelain jar. Photo: IC

China's The Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) has launched a project called Repair 1860 on Friday. The project aims to restore imperial porcelains from more than 100,000 fragments that have been unearthed at the palace. 

A former Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) imperial residence, the Old Summer Palace boasts many precious historical and cultural relics. As the project name suggests, the porcelains were destroyed by Anglo-French Allied Forces during the looting of the Old Summer Palace in 1860. 

According to Chen Hui, director of the Cultural Relics and Archaeology Department for the Old Summer Palace, they are now focusing effort into the restoration of six high-value porcelains, which include a blue glaze snuff bottle, one blue and white porcelain bowl with a dragon design and a red glaze bowl. These imperial porcelains can be traced back to the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722) and have extremely high artistic and historical value.

The restoration work has been extremely challenging. For example, since the blue and white porcelain bowl with dragon design was broken into more than 280 fragments. So far the general structure of the bowl has been pieced together, according to report from

"The restoration of cultural relics should not only maintain historical authenticity, but also reflect the item's aesthetic value," Chen told media on Friday. 

The project aims to continuously promote the restoration and conservation of cultural relics unearthed at the Old Summer Palace. 

According to a report from the Beijing Daily on Saturday, the six porcelains are expected to be restored by the end of May. Additionally, the restoration process is open to the public but only for group visits. 

After the restoration, the relics will be displayed at the Old Summer Palace and will be scanned into the palace's digital museum, which is also accessible to the public. 

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