TAICHUNG, TAIWAN (FORMOSA)...By special arrangement some of Free China's most valuable art treasures are unveiled?
LS - Central and Palace Museum as visitors enter.
MS - PAN inside museum.
MS - Visitors looking at Porcelain objects of the Ching Dynasty, the last of the Dynasties, 1583 to 1911.
MCU - Ching Dynasty objects on display being studied by visitors.
CU - Ching Dynasty Objects.
MCU - Mother and sons observing Jade objects of the Ching Dynasty in glass covered display case.
MS - Bigger than life painting of Emperor Kao Tsung of the Tang Dynasty, A.D. 650 to 684, being observed by two Chinese art lovers.
CU - PAN of Painting on silk by Mi Fei of the Sung Dynasty, AD 960-1279. Chinese characters on top of painting are a poem by Emperor Shao Chung. Mi Fei painted with an ink dot technique that became known as "Mi's Cloud and Mountain" style. Eccentric in his manners he became dubbed by his contemporaries as "Mi the Lunatic."
CU - Famous painting of Two Horses and a Groom by Han Kan, court artist and famous painter of horses of the Tang Dynasty, AD 618 - 907. Emperor Ming Huang once suggested to Han Kan that the now famous painter take lessons, Han is reported to have answered that he already had teachers -- the horses in his majesty's stable.
CU - Painting of a Palace Music party for the queen. The women seated around the table are dipping refreshment from a bowl in the centre of the table. The small dog laying beneath the table is probably a pet of the queen.
MLS - Cave in which the most valuable of the art treasures are stored. It is air-conditioned and bomb proof.
Closing the outer doors of the cave. Broken seal on door of cave will be replaced at day's end. Seal can be broken only in the presence of the curator or one of the trustees of the Palace and Central Museum.
MLS - Workers wheeling out huge art storage chests.
MLS - Curator of the Palace Museum, Shang-yen Chuang, in white shirt without tie, brings out some museum pieces from the warehouse for inspection, as art chests arrive.
MS - Curator Shang-yen Chuang sorts small art chests being handed him by an assistant. From aluminum cases, being substituted for the original wooden cases that housed the art objects in their flight from the mainland, they remove carefully wrapped specimens.
MCU - A carefully worked jade cut-flower container. Note that there are two separate receptacles for the flowers. Sung Dynasty AD 960-1279.
CU - The Emperor's drinking cup intricately carved from jade. Made in che Ming Dynasty 1368 - 1644, this cup is a replica of a ceremonial bronze cup made thousands of years before.
MS - Curator inspecting replica of a winged chiding carved from jade.
Extreme Close-up. This jade chiding, or ceremonial lion, is being photographed for the first time. It was made during the Sixth Dynasty, AD 220 - 265. This little carving, approximately five inches long, is believed to be a replica of a huge stone monument that once stood guard outside the grave of the Emperor.
Extreme Close-up. Believed to be the only one in existence and also being photographed for the first time is this minute jade job. On the face of the fob is an intricate drawing of the queen. Carved in the Tang Dynasty, AD 618 - 907, it proves the old saying that "good things come in small packages", for the Museum considers this tiny object one of its greatest possessions.
MCU - Porcelain and Chinese craftsmanship are The Chiding vase on the left with its raised ram-heads design and the beautiful purple-hued bowl on the right are two of the museum's finest specimens. Curator Chuang believes that the secret of producing the purple hue of this bowl has been lost with the ages -- it could not be reproduced today.
EDITOR: This newsreel filmed by our crew on the Island of Taiwan, is sent you with the compliments of the Government of the Republic of China.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: TAICHUNG, TAIWAN (FORMOSA)...By special arrangement some of Free China's most valuable art treasures are unveiled before the newsreel camera. Two of the precious objects, exquisite carvings of jade, are photographed for the first time in history.
These Chinese art treasures stored on Taiwan are priceless beyond anyone's capacity to set a value on them. They represent the cream of the collections of the Chinese emperors for more than a thousand years, in essence the best of the object stored in the Palace Museum of Peiping and the Central Museum of Nanking.
Ever since the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, the treasures have been restlessly on the move, from Peiping to Shanghai to Nanking--then westward into the rugged interior of China, keeping always ahead of the onrushing Japanese armies. The bombs and blasts of war left the treasures unscarred, and ironically enough, even those left behind before the Japanese armies were not harmed--they were returned to China after the Japanese surrendered.
When the Communists renewed China's endless struggles, the treasures were moved once again, this time to Taiwan. There are more than 64,000 individual objects of porcelain, bronze, cloisonne, jade, lacquer, ritual bones and shells, gold plate, bric-a-brac, and miscellaneous items--in addition to 280,000 rare books and 28,000 official documents, and nearly 6500 paintings and calligraphic scrolls.
Carefully packed in wooden crates, now being gradually replaced with aluminum, stored in high warehouses or in the very bowels of a man-made, air conditioned cave in the adjoining hillside, the treasures can be viewed in a special gallery, no more than 500 at a time. With monthly changes in display, this means that more than 240 years would be required to show all of the much-travelled objects of art.
Because the threat of war hangs over the free Orient today as almost always in modern history, the veteran treasures are still only minutes away by jet flight from the Communist air bases on mainland China, 100 miles across the Straits of Taiwan. There has been much talk of a possible exhibition of some of the treasures in the United States, an attraction that most American art experts agree would be a sensation even among the masses of Americans, not merely experts, connoisseurs, and art fans in general. So far, however, the project is only in the talking stage.
Today, under the loving care of the staff that has followed them thousands of miles through beleaguered China, the treasures remain on Taiwan, a legacy-beyond-price of the greatness of Chinese civilization before the dark night of Communism descended upon the world's most populous nation.