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NPM offers two-day grace period in naming squabble
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-22 02:19 PM
Taiwan’s National Palace Museum (NPM) blinked Saturday in its staredown with the Tokyo National Museum (TNM) and Japanese media over use of the world "National" in publicity materials announcing the exhibition of two of the Taiwan museum’s most popular treasures. The museum had issued an ultimatum to the Japanese to remove or alter posters and other materials that used the name “Taipei Palace Museum” in deference to pressure from China concerning Taiwan’s sovereignty. Taiwan had originally called for the corrections to be made by midnight Saturday, but as the deadline approached the NPM issued a press release saying it would continue to "closely monitor" the situation for the next two days, in effect offering a 48-hour grace period as the opening of the exhibition on June 24 nears.

TNM had reportedly said that it would be able to carry out the removal and replacement of all posters by June 28, terms with which the NPM had expressed agreement. The offer was turned down by President Ma Ying-jeou, however, leaving the two sides at odds as the date approached for the formal opening ceremony, which will be attended by First Lady Christine Chow.

TNM was said to be talking urgently will cooperating media to clear up the issue of the posters, but its latest proposal was that some of the offending materials would be removed by the 21st. The Japanese museum said that other posters in more inaccessible locations might not be corrected until June 28, a date which the ROC Presidential Office found unacceptable.

Even as negotiations on the dates went on all day long Saturday between Taipei and Tokyo, Chow was said to have canceled her visit to Japan and the NPM was preparing a carefully-worded press release announcing the scuttling of the exhibition.

While accusations flew back and forth between the two sides over the wording on posters and the deadline for correcting them, a new furor arose when it was discovered that the tickets for the exhibition also used the term "Taipei Palace Museum” rather than the National Palace Museum as specifically noted in the memorandum of agreement between the two museums.

Hackles at the Presidential Office reportedly rose again after the wording on tickets became known, and the government continued to insist on a deadline of June 21. The NPM, however, took a more conciliatory stance and offered its two-day grace period just before the midnight deadline approached.

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