Visitors view 3D images of cultural relics and the construction process of ancient buildings in the Forbidden City with VR glasses during the 2020 World Conference on VR Industry in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province, October 19, 2020. /CFP
China's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, can now be experienced by people living over 1,000 kilometers away, thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology.
The museum, located in Beijing, shared this latest development in the digitization of cultural relics during the 2020 World Conference on VR Industry, which opened on Monday in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province.
Wearing VR glasses, visitors to the conference were able to view vivid 3D images of cultural relics and the construction process of ancient buildings in the Forbidden City.
The organizers displayed nine life-size 3D-printed models of the Jingdezhen porcelains collected by and displayed at the Palace Museum, a reference to Jingdezhen, also known as China's porcelain capital.
Visitors were also able to make VR trips to archaeological excavation sites where ancient porcelains were unearthed.
Zhang Peipei, an engineer with the museum, said that VR technology has been widely used in the digital protection of cultural relics, with visitors able to view the indoor structures of ancient buildings that are closed to the public to protect relics.
"As the Palace Museum has been committed to the research of advanced technologies and the display of its cultural heritage, it is our mission to build a museum that caters to the needs of the era," said Wang Yuegong, deputy curator of the museum.
The new technological trends promote the construction of museum innovation systems, establishing a deep integration of production, teaching and research and enhancing the protection, utilization and inheritance of cultural relics, Wang said.
The museum started exploration digitization more than 20 years ago. It rolled out seven digitalized products at once in July 2019. They include the applications featuring high-resolution images of the museums' famous paintings, 360-degree view of various architecture, interactive games, music videos and comics.
The role of digitized products has been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic this year, as they enable global audiences to experience and appreciate the beauty of Chinese culture at home.
The Forbidden City was built in 1925 and served as the imperial palace of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties before turning into a museum.
This year marks the palace's 600th birthday, and the museum will host a list of activities, such as exhibitions and academic seminars, to introduce some publications and film and TV productions.