Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has signed a cooperation agreement with Beijing’s Palace Museum to build a museum at the West Kowloon Cultural District on Friday.
The Hong Kong Palace Museum will display antiques from the Forbidden City on a long-term basis, as well as relics related to the history and life at the palace. It will cover a 30,000 metre square area next to the waterfront.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has agreed to donate HK$3.5 billion in funds towards construction and to the preparation of exhibitions.
Officials said the project is supported by the central government, and it marks the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China. However, it is not a branch of China’s Palace Museum, as the West Kowloon Cultural District will run and manage the new museum, while the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City will only provide design and curatorial advice without participating in its daily operations.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said local residents and foreign tourists can learn about Chinese history and culture by visiting the new museum.
“The Palace Museum is one of the most influential museums in the world,” he said, adding that Hongkongers who have been to the Palace Museum are proud to be Chinese.
Construction is set to begin in late 2017, and is expected to be completed by 2022.