An ancient Chinese ink painting, rescued from a funeral pyre 360 years ago -- but not before it was split into two parts -- was reunited in June at Taipei's Palace Museum and attracted more than 578,000 visitors, including many from the mainland.
The display of the two parts of the painting "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains," by famous Yuan Dynasty painter Huang Gongwang, concluded after two months on Sunday. About 30 to 40 percent of those who visited the exhibition were tourists from the mainland, said a statement from the Palace Museum in Taipei on Monday.
The painting, completed around 1350, was ordered burned by the wealthy Ming Dynasty art collector Wu Hongyu on his deathbed in 1650, but a nephew intervened to save it. The two portions then changed hands many times, the right portion, 51.4-cm long, found a home at the mainland's Zhejiang Provincial Museum, while the left portion, 636.9-cm long, went to Taipei's Palace Museum.
The exhibition, displaying both parts of the scroll painting for the first time since it was torn asunder, has been regarded a symbol of closer cultural exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan amid warming cross-Strait relations.
"It was for the first time that an exhibition of paintings became the most popular one in our museum," said Kung-shin Chou, director of the Palace Museum in Taipei.
June and July had been known as the museum's offseason, but because of this exhibition the number of visitors in the past two months has notably increased, she said.
The museum developed several souvenirs based on this painting and the sales of these generated 31 million New Taiwan dollars (1.08 million U.S. dollars) in the past two months.
The museum will continue to exhibit paintings by artists from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), who were strongly influenced by Huang Gongwang and this particular painting, from Aug. 2 to Sept. 5, the statement said.