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In the early 1930s, Japanese armies began to swallow up China's territory and the threat of all-out war grew. In Peking, the curators of the Palace Museum agonized over how to keep safe the vast imperial art collections in their charge in the face of aerial bombing and marauding Japanese troops. In 1933, the curators, led by a quiet, fastidious scholar named Ma Heng, packed hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable, invaluable objects, paintings, and texts in twenty thousand wooden cases. For the next sixteen years, Ma Heng and a small band of brave, committed curators shepherded the imperial art collection thousands of miles across war-ravaged China in search of safety.

Adam Brookes tells their extraordinary stories and examines their context and implications in his book, Fragile Cargo: The Wartime Race to Save the Treasures of China's Forbidden City.

Speakers

Tickets

  • RAS China members

    Free

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  • RAS China joint/family members

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  • Non-members

    RMB 100

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  • RAS China Institutional Member

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