A second Palace Museum will be built just some 25 kilometers away from the current premises in order to accommodate more exhibits.
The Palace manages 70 to 80 exhibitions per year, and is able to display only about 0.5 percent of its entire collection because of space limitations. This is very behind the 10 to 20 percent range for other major museums in the world.
According to South China Morning Post, among the 1.8 million different relics collected by the Palace, approximately 10,000 only are displayed for public viewing.
The announcement that an expansion is on its way was made by Palace Director Shan Jixiang during the 2016 International Smart Tourism Conference held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
Shan said that the first phase of the four-year project will cover an area of 125,000 square meters, which will allow the exhibition of a large number of cultural relics. There will be relic restorations as well.
The new museum's location happens to be neighboring other tourist spots--the Old Summer Palace to the south and the Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs to the north. There are also a river and a lake nearby.
Architect Zhang Yu won the bidding to design the second museum. It would be the same red and gold façade as that of the original.
Established in 1925 in the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, is one of the most prestigious museums not only in China but in the world as well. In 2014, it recorded an overwhelming 15 million visitors.