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April 25, 2017

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National Palace Museum opens south branch

TAIPEI--A lantern festival that lasts 66 days will kick off Dec. 19 in Chiayi County to celebrate the trial opening of the National Palace Museum (NPM)'s Southern Branch in the county on Dec. 28.

The festival will take place in front of the Chiayi County government and along the nearby Taizi Boulevard, which leads to the museum, a branch of the world-famous museum in Taipei.

The festival will showcase lanterns with themes such as agriculture, religion, environment and creativity, according to the county government.

A 10-minute 3D light show, designed by Singapore's Hexogon Solution, will blend Christmas themes with unique Chiayi cultural elements.

In addition to lantern displays, the festival will also feature firework shows on Dec. 19 and 27, as well as music, dance, theater and magic performances on Dec. 19 and 20 and from 24-27.

Billed as a "museum of Asian art and culture," the 70 hectare Southern Branch will collect, research, preserve and exhibit artifacts and relics from across Asia. The exterior of the museum bears images of dragons, elephants and horses that represent ancient Chinese, Indian and Persian civilizations, respectively.

To celebrate the trial opening, free admission will be allowed for all visitors from Dec. 29 to March 31, 2016 and for visitors from Chiayi, Yunlin and Tainan from April 1 to June 30 next year.

The NPM's most popular item — the Jadeite Cabbage with Insects — will be exhibited at the southern branch from Dec. 28 this year to Oct. 2, 2016. Another popular artifact, the "Meat-shaped Stone," will also be displayed at the branch from Oct. 4, 2016.

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