Will Hong Kong Palace Museum be the summer special?

June 08, 2022 11:15
Photo: HKPM

Who doesn’t look forward to the Hong Kong Palace Museum?

The new baby that marks the 25th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China stands to become another star of the West Kowloon Cultural district that saw the opening of the contemporary museum of M+ last November.

Although the pandemic did not dent popularity of M+, it’s Palace Museum that steal the show. Already I gather corporate sponsors are rushing to get their names in the galleries of national treasuries gifted by Beijing.

Yesterday the Hong Kong Palace Museum announced the ticket price of HK$120 when it opens on July 2, although admission will be free on Wednesdays in the first year.

This does not look too far off from a cinema ticket, although one may wonder if that would provide much more excitement than the latest hit “Top Gun: Maverick”.

Tickets of the local chapter of Palace Museum will be less expensive than those of Louvre Museum (15 Euro, HK$125) in Paris and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (US$25, HK$196) , still, it is the most expensive Palace Museum in the world.

Palace Museum in Beijing charges about 60 yuan (HK$70) while the National Palace Museum, which traces its root back to Kuomintang taking these treasuries to Taiwan in 1948, charges citizens 150 Taiwan dollars (HK$40).

The tickets of Hong Kong Palace Museum would look even pricier when we look at the size of the collection.

The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has about 700,000 pieces of art collection, compared with 1.86 million pieces in Beijing Palace Museum. For Hong Kong Palace Museum, there will be 914 pieces of artwork borrowed from its Beijing counterparts, along with 13 loaned from Louvre and more than 100 artifacts from local museums.

But it is understandable as we know the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has been struggling to pay its bills after using up most of the funds it applied in 2008.

Given many of these artworks are over 1,000 years old, for protection reasons, they will be kept in the dark for a three year rest after one month's display.

Hong Kong Palace Museum is expected to cater for 5,000 visitors a day in the first month before running to a maximum daily capacity of 7,000. That compares to 4.8 million visitors National Palace Museum had and 19.3 million visitors Palace Museum attracted in a year before the pandemic.

Now are you ready for the summer hit? See you there.


EJ Insight writer