• Misbehaving tourists can now be banned from the Palace Museum.

Misbehaving tourists can now be banned from the Palace Museum. (Photo : www.blog.airpaz.com)

In an effort to promote traditional Chinese culture in modern China, the Palace Museum in Beijing announced that it will release a jewelry line inspired by the styles of the country’s ancient empresses.

Jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook has been authorized by the Palace Museum's cultural service center to draw inspiration and replicate some of the museum's ancient collections to create a new series of jewelry, which includes bracelets and hairpins.

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The jewelry line, along with other creative souvenir items, such as smartphone holders and imperial-style luggage labels, will be available exclusively on Juhuasan, Alibaba's group-buying site, starting Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. The price of the jewelry pieces will range from tens of thousands to millions of yuan.

By using e-commerce platforms, the Palace Museum hopes to reintroduce the country's traditional arts and culture to a broader audience, particularly China's emerging middle class.

Previous efforts by the Palace Museum, which served as the home of 24 Ming and Qing emperors, include a store on taobao.com, where creative souvenirs are sold. According to preceding media reports, sales of the creative items were estimated to be around 900 million yuan or $145 million last year.

"Apart from seeking products from other countries, they are hoping to know more about their own traditional culture. We can see that trend through the growing popularity of the Taobao store of the Palace Museum," said Zhang Jianfeng, head of Alibaba's retail business unit.

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, is home to around 1.8 million items, 10,000 of which are on display. Supporters of the museum's venture hope that e-commerce will also encourage the museum to unveil more of its collections.

"It would be great to use the old designs to inspire some new designers, so that the traditional culture and knowledge can be passed on to the younger generation," said Professor Pan Shouyong from Minzu University of China.