National Taiwan Museum reopens after 2 month renovation

The National Taiwan Museum will open a special permanent exhibition to mark the occasion

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National Taiwan Museum at 228 Peace Memorial Park, Taipei

National Taiwan Museum at 228 Peace Memorial Park, Taipei (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The National Taiwan Museum in Taipei has reopened its doors on Nov. 21 after a two month closure for renovation.

The renovations are the first the museum has received since being designated a national historic site in 1998, according to a report from the Central News Agency.

To mark the reopening of the National Taiwan Museum a special permanent exhibition has been prepared by the museum's curators entitled "Discovering Taiwan: Revisiting the age of Natural History and Naturalists in Taiwan."  

The exhibit will feature 367 important pieces of Taiwan's cultural and natural history including man-made relics, and exhibits presenting Taiwan's endemic plant and animal species. One notable exhibit is a preserved Formosan clouded leopard, a species that was marked as extinct in the early 2000s.

The exhibit will be presented on the museum's third floor, which has been closed to visitors for the past three years.

At a ceremony marking the reopening on Monday, Nov. 20, Taiwan's Minister of Cultural Affairs Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) stated that they "undertook the restoration based on strict standards governing cultural assets with the purpose of maintaining and protecting our cultural heritage," according to CNA.

The goal of the restoration was not only to refurbish and recreate the former style of the structure, but to do so according to the same historical techniques that were used previously.

For a structure that is over 100 years old, this was no easy task. Built in 1915 under the Japanese Colonial Government, the building is the oldest museum in Taiwan.

Photo of the structure taken in 1939 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

It was originally the Taiwan Governor General's Museum until it was renamed the Taiwan Provincial Museum in 1949 under the KMT. It remained the provincial museum until 1999 when it received its current designation at the National Taiwan Museum, after being recognized as a 'national heritage' site in 1998 by the Ministry of the Interior.

The most difficult part of the restoration process was cleaning and refurbishing the artificial marble walls composed heavily of gypsum.

The structure has undergone two other major renovations in 1961 and 1994.

The National Taiwan Museum offers five departments for exhibits including; Anthropology, Earth Sciences, Zoology, Botany, and Education. It is one of the best places for permanent exhibits on Taiwan's prehistory, and the indigenous peoples of Taiwan.

For more information and to plan a visit check out the official webpage of the National Taiwan Museum.