Oops! One wrong word adds to woe at Palace

By Liang Yiwen  |   2011-5-16  |     NEWSPAPER EDITION

The story appears on Page A2
May 16, 2011

Shopping Cart
Free for subscribers

Reading Tools


Financial crisis

3G network

Shanghai stock market

Housing price

Related Stories

7 people in critical condition after buildi...

2011-4-26 18:36:55

Building fire kills 17, injures 24 in Beiji...

2011-4-25 9:12:52

Beijing building collapses in blast, killin...

2011-4-11 16:21:43

1 to 23: chances getting slimmer for Beijin...

2011-3-26 17:51:09

Rise in bus and Metro thefts prompts tough ...

2011-2-22 17:47:45

Read More

ONE week after the theft of art treasures, and following accusations it was running a luxurious club for the rich, the Palace Museum in Beijing has now become embroiled in an embarrassing controversy over a thank you banner presented to police.

There were online claims that the museum had thanked the police for "shaking" the homeland's prosperity rather than "safeguarding" it.

However, the museum insisted they had used the right word, though several language experts say the two words, pronounced the same in mandarin, have totally different meanings in modern and ancient Chinese.

The thank you banner was in response to swift action by the police after the theft of seven jewel-encrusted gold pieces on May 9 from the museum in the heavily-guarded Forbidden City. Police caught the thief on May 11. Three objects, however, are still missing.

Meanwhile, a picture of an application form inviting business tycoons to join a luxury club in the museum was leaked yesterday, seeming to contradict a denial by the museum on Friday that it had renovated one of its palaces as a private club.

The Beijing News quoted an insider who claimed to have been invited by a friend to attend a luxury club opening ceremony, launched by a firm affiliated to the museum on April 23.

The club is said to have a limited number of 500 memberships with members able to enjoy a range of services including meals, banquets and meetings in the Jianfu Palace.

Most of the 100-plus attendees at the opening ceremony were Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business graduates and they received the invitation agreements after the ceremony. The agreements asked them to provide their personal information and that of their relatives and their car license numbers.

Members would pay annual membership fees for the use of the palace by them and their spouses and guests, but how much is not known.

Billionaires club

Rui Chenggang, a China Central Television anchor, had written in his microblog that Jianfu Palace had become a club designed for billionaires, prompting Friday's denial.

In the case of the art objects theft, there are questions still be to answered.

The suspect, Shi Baikui, a 28-year-old man from east China's Shandong Province, entered the palace on May 8 with a tour group.

He hid in an area closed to the public until it was dark. He then broke a window to gain entry to the exhibition hall. After he was spotted by a guard, Shi climbed onto the museum wall and jumped to the street outside to make his escape.

Questions have been raised as to how Shi was able to climb onto the 10 meter wall and why surveillance and alert systems proved useless.

Email Story    Printable View    Blog Story    Copy Headline/URL

Advanced Search