China's 600-year-old Forbidden City comes alive online

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New Delhi, August 27 (ANI): China's 600-year-old Forbidden City is renovating its website in a move to improve its offerings of Chinese culture.

According to Hu Chui, head of the Palace Museum's information department, the new website will launch during the National Day Festival in early October.

"It will give visitors richer and easier access to the imperial city, and the ancient building complex with as many as 8,707 rooms and 1.5 million artistic articles," said Hu, who is leading a team of 60 to boost the museum's digital display.

The Forbidden City is the world's largest surviving imperial palace complex and served as the home of the emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government, from 1420 to the early 20th century.

"The new website is restructured to meet the different demands of laymen, researchers and academics," Hu said.

The site will include quiz games, suitable for children, that teach basic knowledge about ancient China.

The museum has created a cartoon figure as its image ambassador, a young emperor clad in a bright yellow royal robe adapted from Emperor Kangxi, one of the most famous emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Older visitors can expect tens of thousands of pictures in refined quality with explanatory introductions; and researchers can have access to the museum's academic research findings in a database.

The new website is part of the imperial palace-turned museum's effort to move into the virtual world.

Hu's team is producing seven 3-D documentaries, each a 20- to 30-minute film mixed with real photographs or archival footage, and special effects produced by computer.

A yet-to-open 3-D cinema is in the southwestern corner hall in the yard of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, with black walls and red chairs.

According to Xu Ying, director of the museum's exhibition technology section, the cinema is built of a removable steel structure that minimizes possible damage to the ancient wood architecture of the hall.

From April until now, visitors have been able to use electric touch screens to look at details of ancient works of calligraphy and paintings in the imperial collections in the Hall of Martial Valor in the southwestern part of the palace.

On the screens, beside each exhibit, visitors can easily find information about the exhibit in detail and zoom in on high-definition pictures, large enough to discern even tiny strokes. (ANI)

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