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China's famous Forbidden City to open new souvenirs center

Visitors to China's famous Forbidden City will soon have a chance to relive memories of the magnificent palace -- by taking home newly-designed souvenirs.

A spokesperson for the Palace Museum, which overlooks the sprawling imperial complex in the heart of Beijing, said Thursday a new souvenirs shop and cafe would be opened inside the palace this weekend.

The souvenirs shop will offer a wide variety of choice ranging from specially designed key chains, T-shirts and silk shoes to handicrafts whose designs had been inspired by buildings and relics in the Forbidden City, said Yang Xiaobo, head of the museum's business management division.

A hand-painted designer T-shirt, for example, could be inspired by palace window patterns, he said.

Art school students in Beijing have also been invited to design stylish products displaying characteristics of imperial culture.

Yang said while the museum expected the new center to be successful commercially, it also intended to give visitors a better shopping experience and to make souvenirs a true reflection of Chinese cultural heritage.

"We want to improve the quality of souvenirs, because many products presently being sold are poorly designed and do not reflect the charm of the Forbidden City," he said.

Built in the early 14th Century, The Forbidden City served as home to Chinese emperors and as a political center from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

One of China's top tourist attractions, the Forbidden City received a record 1.59 million visitors last month.

In October last year, the Palace Museum worked with IBM to launch an online 3D recreation of the Forbidden City (, which allows the world's Internet users to take a virtual tour inside the vast complex.



 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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