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Thousands flood to new Chimei Museum

Thousands flood to new Chimei Museum

Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) The newly opened Chimei Museum in the southern city of Tainan has drawn so much interest over the long weekend that would-be visitors who did not reserve admission tickets found themselves blocked outside. Museum director Frank Liao estimated some 30,000 people tried to visit at its grand opening Friday, but only the 5,000 who had made reservations ahead of time were allowed in due to maximum capacity concerns. The museum responded to the huge demand by allowing in 800 extra people lined up Saturday outside the main building, a 40,000 square-meter European-style structure at Tainan Metropolitan Park. The museum currently has some 6,000-7,000 items on display, representing roughly half of its entire collection of art, musical instruments, weaponry, and animal specimens. Some of the most valuable pieces there include "Saint Martin and the Beggar," a 16th century painting by Spanish painter El Greco, an 1860 bronze sculpture "Theseus Slaying the Centaure Bi幯or" by French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye, and a 1907 bronze cast of "The Kiss" by French sculptor Auguste Rodin. A 16th century violin made by Italian Luthier Andrea Amati and a polar bear specimen are also among the displays. The Chimei Museum claims to hold one of the largest collections of violins in the world, and significant collections of ancient weapons and Western paintings and sculptures. Chi Mei Group founder Hsu Wen-lung, an art and music lover, established the Chi Mei Cultural Foundation in 1977 to collect artwork and artifacts from around the world. In 1992, the Chimei Museum was established at the Tainan headquarters of plastics producer Chi Mei Corp. Over the years the museum has expanded its collection and now has over 13,000 items in its collection. All of the objects will be transferred to the new venue, which was built at a cost of around NT$2 billion (US$63 million). Visitors to the museum are required to reserve tickets online at least one day in advance. A regular ticket price of NT$200 applies to non-Tainan residents, while citizens of the southern city enjoy free admission. For non-residents, students and senior citizens over 65 years old can buy discount tickets of NT$150, while children under 6 and special disadvantaged groups are admitted free of charge. (By Yang Ssu-jui, Lee Hsin-Yin and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-21 13:25 GMT+08:00