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Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 19:30

The Forbidden City Dusts Off: Restoring an Emperor's Private Retreat

Henry Tzu Ng, Executive Vice President,

World Monuments Fund


Nancy Berliner, Ph.D., Curator of Chinese Art,

Peabody Essex Museum

Embassy of Portugal


Putaoya Dashiguan Sanlitun 8 Dong Wu Jie

Since 2002, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), a private international historic preservation organization based in New York City has been working in partnership with the Palace Museum to conserve the Qianlong Garden in the Forbidden City.

The garden and its buildings were built for the Qianlong Emperor in 1771-1776 as part of an eventual retirement complex and have never been fully opened to the public. Juanqinzhai, or The Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service, was the first of its 27 buildings to be restored in November 2008, and is noted for its unique trompe l'oeil theatre and jewel box of a reception room.

Henry Tzu Ng, Executive Vice President of the World Monuments Fund, will discuss the restoration program and conservation challenges encountered during the restoration of Juanqinzhai.

Nancy Berliner, Ph.D., Curator of Chinese Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and the interpretation consultant to WMF for its Qianlong Garden project, will present the Qianlong Garden as a masterpiece of Chinese garden design, its distinction within the history of Chinese gardens and some of the remarkable works of art revealed during the course of the restoration.