Located in Taipei, in Taiwan, the National Palace Museum is the largest collection of ancient Chinese artefacts and artworks in the world. It has almost 700,000 pieces ranging from the Neolithic to the modern, divided into categories including calligraphy, Chinese paintings, ceramics, jades, works, archives, bronzes... There are several collections of the Imperial Palace of the Forbidden City of Beijing that took more than thirty years to reach Taiwanese territory. Many objects date from the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. Surprising as it may seem, only a tiny fraction of about 15,000 works are on public display, the rest is archived.
Why was the collection of the Forbidden City on display at the National Palace Museum? During the Japanese invasion, China decided to move the works stored in the Forbidden City so that the enemy would steal them. At the beginning of the conflicts, the elements of the collection were moved throughout China and then ended up in Nanjing. Then a few years later, when the war escalated, the works were evacuated to Taiwan at the National Palace Museum. So they went through a long journey of 32 years.
What dynasties can be found in the National Palace Museum? Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing are the four dynasties represented.