More organizations distance selves from controversial Palace Museum parking incident

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/19 17:03:41

Photo:sina weibo

More Chinese institutions have sought to distance themselves from an incident involving a woman who drove a luxury private vehicle into a restricted courtyard of the Palace Museum, which has snowballed into a major controversy sparking public outrage over abuse of privilege.

Chinese aluminum-maker China Zhongwang Holdings has denied online rumors that the company or the company's major shareholder, Liu Zhongtian, is related to the woman who drove a Mercedes-Benz SUV into the Palace Museum complex. The incident has enraged Chinese netizens who expressed indignation at the preferential treatment given to those with the right connections and wealth and demanded those responsible be punished.   

Gao Lu was identified by netizens and media reports as the woman under the Weibo user name "LuxiaobaoLL" who posted the photos in which she and another woman were seen standing beside a vehicle parked on the premises of the Palace Museum.

Online posts alleged that she had purchased a luxury villa in California in 2018 and claimed the assertion was based on an analysis of Gao's Instagram posts. The posts also claimed that the villa is connected with Liu, founder of China Zhongwang Holdings.

The company said in a statement that Liu didn't know the Weibo user "LuxiaobaoLL" or her relatives. "The company reserves the right to take any legal action against any other statement regarding the matter on the company's behalf," it said. 

Meanwhile, some netizens also exposed what they claimed to be the examination papers and answer sheets for postgraduate English degree at Changchun University of Science and Technology that was allegedly posted by Gao. 

They questioned how the examination papers and answer sheets could be posted online and suspected that Gao might take a phone into the examination venue which was against the rules.   

The university said in a Weibo post on Sunday that Gao was a postgraduate student majoring in Marxism theory starting in 2009 at the university. She was admitted after taking the national entrance exam for postgraduate studies, but failed to obtain the master's degree as she didn't pass the oral defense for her dissertation.  

Shan Jixiang, the former director of the Palace Museum, said entry of private vehicles are restricted at the palace just as they are at Buckingham Palace in the UK and the Palace of Versailles in France, noting it's a matter of respecting the culture. 

Many netizens called for explanations from the Palace Museum. While the Palace Museum apologized on Friday evening, saying it would strengthen management to prevent similar incidents, the controversy continued to be a trending topic on social networks.

Global Times 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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