Guo Fuxiang, a researcher at the Palace Museum, briefs reporters about a gilded brass clock that was damaged by a tourist. The man smashed a window in the Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth in the Palace Museum on Saturday, causing the antique clock to fall. Photo by Lin Hui / For China Daily
The breaking of a window and damage to an antique clock at the Palace Museum in Beijing on Saturday has prompted authorities to speed up the upgrading of security measures, the museum director said on Sunday.
A male tourist broke a window of the Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth (Yi Kun Gong), causing an antique clock to fall and suffer damage.
Two surveillance videos show the male tourist entered the courtyard of the Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth at 11:08 am. He walked straight to a front window of the main hall and broke the glass using his hand six seconds later. Museum staff Zhao Nan caught the suspect immediately and called the security department.
The suspect was taken into custody by the municipal public security bureau after medical treatment to his injured right hand. The bureau said on its official micro blog that the suspect is surnamed Wang, aged 22 and from Hubei province. Further investigation is under way.
The broken glass has been replaced, so normal service can be resumed.
During a news conference on Sunday, the museum authorities briefed journalists the incident and released more details.
The damaged antique is a gilded brass clock decorated with sculptures of flowers, fountains and a Westerner striking a bell. It was made by the UK in the 18th century and kept by the Qing Court. It has been evaluated as a second-level national treasure.
The clock fell off a table next to the broken glass. Its main body separated from the base and there was other damage.
"The clock can be completely repaired since we have a collection of Western clock components," said Wang Jing, associate researcher and clock expert of the museum's preservation and scientific technology department. "But it will take months."