Rare Antique Broken in Palace Museum, Beijing

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A rare piece of porcelain from Bejing's Palace Museum has been broken into pieces. The porcelain antique is more than a thousand years old and considered to be one of China's top cultural relics. Here's more.

A rare thousand-year-old piece of Chinese porcelain has been accidentally broken into six pieces by a researcher working at the Palace Museum in Beijing's Forbidden City.

The piece of porcelain, which dates from the Song Dynasty, was damaged during scientific testing at the beginning of July, although the museum has only recently confirmed the accident.

In a statement released on Sunday, the museum said a celadon glazed dish, a masterpiece of the Ge kiln porcelain from the Song Dynasty, which dates from 960 to 1279 AD, was squeezed by a testing instrument that had been set incorrectly.

The researcher was reported to be a female graduate with a master's degree who has worked in the lab since 2004. The museum said that she has received professional training to operate the instrument and had never made a mistake like this before.

The accident was reported on Saturday (July 30) on a blog written by Long Can, an enthusiast of ancient porcelain, who said he'd found out from some professionals he knew.

[Long Can, Chinese Blogger]:
"My teacher, an expert of the collection, told me that something might have happened in the Palace Museum about ten days ago. He roughly explained that a masterpiece of the Ge kiln porcelain of the Song Dynasty was severely damaged when it was sent for testing. I was very surprised by this, so I contacted some porcelain experts and they confirmed it."

The damaged porcelain, categorized as one of China's first-class cultural relics, was broken into six pieces. One of the museum's department directors said they have the ability to restore it.

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