• 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)

Crowds waited in line for more than six hours at the Palace Museum in Beijing, located in the Forbidden City, to see "Along the River During the Qingming Festival," arguably the most prolific scroll painting in Chinese Art History.

Sometimes referred to as the Mona Lisa of China, the painting was exhibited in the museum's Hall of Martial Valor.

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The scroll was painted by Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145) and depicts a landscape in Bianjing, known today as Kaifeng in Henan Province. It measures 24.8 centimeters wide and 5.29 centimeters long.

In response to the overwhelming popularity of the painting, the Palace Museum has announced that it would organize another exhibition of the artwork in 2020 to coincide with the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City.

"With growing public demand for exhibitions of national treasures, waiting in line for hours has become routine," said a statement by the museum. "For example, in 2002, when the scroll was displayed in Shanghai, viewers also waited six hours in line."

Displays of the work are limited due to its fragility.

The scroll is displayed as part of a special exhibition entitled "The Precious Collection of the Stone Moat," which consists of 283 ancient paintings and calligraphy masterpieces that were part of the Qing Dynasty emperors' catalog.

The display also marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of the museum to the public.

Palace Museum director Shan Jixiang anticipated the massive turnout.

"However, we still need to let more people know about the exhibition because it took 10 years for them to have this opportunity," he said.

One of the visitors, Wang Qi says she drove all the way from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia to visit the exhibition, and it took her most of the day before she could see the scroll.

"It was too exhausting, but I still think it was worthwhile," said Wang.

Only 200 visitors were allowed at a time in the hall, with each visitor only allowed to stay for a few minutes before museum staff told them to keep moving so others may see the artwork.

Museum officials have suggested that people who want to visit the exhibition book tickets in advance.

The scroll will only be on display until Oct. 12.