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Video: World Monuments Fund: ‘Opulent Buddhism’ in the Forbidden City

Created at the peak of Imperial China’s economic and cultural importance, the Qianlong Garden complex in the Forbidden City was intended to be the center of the retirement retreat of the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799). His long and remarkable reign saw dramatic military conquests and spectacular literary and artistic achievements, but was also a time of corrosive corruption and bureaucratic stagnation. Over many decades, he focused his inquisitive mind on the creation of the exquisite pavilions and gardens that were to be his sanctuary in old age. The World Monuments Fund and the Palace Museum have been carefully restoring the glories of this complex over a decade. At a lecture delivered on May 11, 2015, Andrew Solomon discussed its creation, rediscovery, and ongoing conservation.