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The Louvre Receives the Forbidden City

A selection of 130 objects from Beijing Imperial Palace Museum will join the exhibition “The Forbidden City in the Louvre. Emperors of China and the kings of France”, held from September 29 to January 9 in Louvre Museum. The exhibition will present the artistic talents of some ancient Chinese emperors as well as scientific and cultural exchanges made with the Jesuits under Louis XIV.

Paint, ink on paper, porcelain, lacquer, seals, imperial clothing: these objects come from the tremendous reserves of the Imperial Palace Museum. Many of the pieces are never lent out of China.

The exhibition is split into three distinct spaces: a historical component in Sully wing, another architectural ditches near the medieval collection and zoom of the Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736-1795) in Richelieu wing.

“This is a difficulty for the visitor, but plaques will be placed to identify,” said Jean-Paul Desroches, general curator at the Guimet Museum, and one of the curators of the exhibition.

The Louvre rooms have been redesigned to make space for Chinese emperors. “Our Chinese partners wanted to be near the pyramid,” says Desroches.

The exhibition also opens on the history of kings communication between France and China since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) until the last emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The first documented links between the two countries date back to the thirteenth century when the Mongols prevailing in China, offering to King Philip the Fair of France an alliance against the Mamluks, as evidenced by diplomatic couriers.

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