2 museums broach China-Taiwan conciliation

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Divided for 60 years by war and political turbulence, the imperial art collection of China is now the focus of negotiations that could lead to at least a few of the works being exhibited together again in a historic moment.

The director of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, the repository of the cream of the 1,000-year-old collection, plans to travel on Saturday to Beijing.

Chou Kung-shin will hold talks at the Palace Museum in Beijing. Chou said in an interview that she would ask the Palace Museum in Beijing to lend 29 Qing dynasty artworks for a three-month exhibition that opens here in October and would seek cooperation in art conservation, publications and promotions.

It would be the first official visit by a director of the Taipei museum to the mainland since the Nationalists lost China's civil war to the Communists in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan.

The Beijing authorities are taking a conciliatory stance on closer collaboration in art in the hope of improving their image on Taiwan, with the goal of dampening opposition to an eventual reunification on terms favorable to the mainland.

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