Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-21 03:21 PM
President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday said Friday he would cancel the show as well as a visit by First Lady Chow Mei-ching if the word “national” was not used in the museum’s name on promotional material by midnight Saturday.
Taiwan government leaders saw the absence of the word on some posters as an insult to the country’s dignity and said they would put respect for the name above the need for cultural exchanges.
The Japanese museum initially said it could not do anything about outside posters for the June 24-September 15 exhibition which showed the name of the Taiwanese museum as the “Taipei Palace Museum.”
After the ultimatum was made clear, the Tokyo National Museum said it would agree to either replace the posters or remove them altogether, though some of the larger ones along rail tracks might need more time to handle. The National Palace Museum had reportedly not agreed to extend the deadline beyond midnight Saturday, or 11 p.m. Taiwan time.
Taiwan’s representative office in Tokyo reportedly spent at least 16 hours negotiating with the Japanese museum before a result was reached. Asked whether Chow would still travel to the opening ceremony, an official said they were still preparing for the visit.
The National Palace Museum issued three official demands on Friday evening, including the acceptance of its requests, a written promise from the media to replace or remove the posters without the term “national” before the deadline until the museum was satisfied. The Taiwanese museum warned it would send inspectors to check whether the offending posters had been taken down or not.
An official ceremony with a news conference to open boxes and unveil the treasures in Tokyo was canceled Friday as a result of the dispute. The government said previous exhibitions in the United States and in several European countries never had a problem mentioning the museum’s full official name.
Critics in Taiwan said the Ma Administration had failed to take a similar strong stance when China was the one denigrating Taiwanese names, titles or flags.
Chow’s trip was to be a Taiwanese First Lady’s first to Japan on a cultural mission since both countries ended official diplomatic relations in 1972.
The centerpiece of the show was to be the “Jadeite Cabbage,” one of the National Palace Museum’s most famous pieces of art. A total of more than 200 treasures would be on show first in Tokyo and later at the Kyushu National Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture from October 7 to November 30.